Baby Safety Gates, What You Need to Know

As your little bundle of joy begins to crawl and take their first steps, you need to ensure that you have gone over your safety checklist again.

Baby safety gates are not a decorative item for your home. They are meant to keep your child from danger and prevent injuries. There are many different types of gates available in the stores, but before you pick one up, let’s make sure it has the safety you need.

Baby Safety gates can come in many different styles and designs. Some things you want to look for include how far apart the slats are if it is a sturdy gate, and also if it is secure.

Some of the reasons to have baby safety gates in your home include stairs, blocking off areas where the baby should not be, and possibly keeping the family pets, and your child separated. Many hidden and unsuspected dangers lurking in the home that many of us do not think of.

The baby safety gates that are sold in many stores are just one safety precaution that parents take to protect their children.

Safety first, yes that is the main focus

There are two main types to consider, pressure mounted and hardware mounted gates. Hardware mounted safety gates are actually bolted or screwed into the framing in the doorway.

The hardware mounted gates are the safest to use at the top of your stairs. The pressure mounted gates are those that connect to the wall by pressure.

It is not advised to use pressure-mounted gates at the top of a flight of stairs. When pushed against using pressure, they may come unattached and create a danger.

The surface is another aspect of a baby gate

You want a safety gate with smooth coating, no splinters, chips, or cracks in the framing. If there are any of these issues present, you can easily repair them with sandpaper and polyurethane.

You also want a gate that has smooth, rounded edges instead of those with squared edging. Metal may be somewhat sturdier than a wood gate.

When purchasing a gate, be sure to locate the tag on the product from JPMA, the Juvenile Products Manufacturer Association. This ensures that all safety requirements have been met when assembling the product.


Whichever material you choose, be sure to verify that all slats are closely spaced. The slats can be no more than three inches apart. Check that the top of the gate has a straight edge, not a curvy one where the top’s sides do not allow a lower level, making it easier for a child to get over.

If you choose to purchase a mesh-lined gate, verify that there are tiny holes, not larger. The larger holes in the mesh make the perfect finger holds and footholds for a child with determination. This could lead to injuries of the child falling over the gate or fingers and little toes being twisted up in the material.


The height requirements for a baby safety gate can be no less than 22 inches. Many gates go as high as 39 inches. By the time the child is around two years of age or 30 pounds, baby safety gates can not be relied on to hold the child back.


Parents are best off if they have a gate that has a flexible installation process. This means that kits can be purchased that will enable the parent to install in odd areas. For example, curved banisters, angled banisters, or even drywall with no framing are located behind it.

Using a baby safety gate at the top of the stairs and the bottom is a good process to follow. When you are in a hurry, you may think, ‘Yes, the gate is up and locked.’ Unless you have a gate on both top and bottom, a child can still find a way to try to get up or possibly end up rolling down.

Do not climb over the baby gate

The child may see you do so and decide it is good to try what mom and dad do. Even when you think the child is not watching, they probably are. Climbing over the gate can also cause injury to you.

A trip or fall will land you on the floor, in probable pain. If you are holding the baby at the time, this can cause serious injury to them also. 10. If possible, especially when the family pet is eating, put a gate up, closing that room off from the child.

Dogs especially are territorial when it comes to their food. There is no reason to think that since the dog does love and protect the child, this same animal can growl or bite if the child is near the dog food.

Knowing where, when, how, and why to use baby gates can save the child, parent, and the family pet from unnecessary stress or possible injuries.


Baby safety gates are meant to prevent injuries to the child. Even when the parent is in the same area.

Once the crawling begins, the baby can move faster than you think is possible. It is always the best plan to use baby safety gates on top of the stairs, at the bottom of the stairs, blocking rooms or areas that the child should not go and definitely containing the pet when eating.

Using baby safety gates is wise to start when you first bring the baby home from the hospital. By the time the infant is crawling or toddling around, the gates are second nature to all in the house.

Many people believe that if they are right there with the child, nothing can happen. Accidents can and do happen when least expected.

For your child’s sake and your own peace of mind, install the baby safety gates as soon as possible. This gives you time to get used to opening and closing the gate rather than stepping over and risking a fall.

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