When should you remove a baby gate from your home? This question is an important one to ask because children develop at different rates and a baby gate will offer extra protection for a young child under two years of age. If your child can climb over a gate, open it, or open it on their own, it is time to take it off. However, you should not stop using a baby gate if your child is still young.
Safety of baby gates
The height of your child is a good indicator that you have outgrown your baby gate. This means your child is tall and strong. A child this size is unlikely to be able to use a typical baby gate anymore, as the gate will likely fall or get knocked over. If this happens, your child could end up falling and with the gate with them down the stairs. This is especially important if your child is very small and isn’t physically mature.
Despite the popularity of pressure-mounted baby gates, their installation can be dangerous. Children can push them out of the way, posing a trip hazard to parents. The bottom bar of pressure-mounted gates can also cause serious injury. Yehudah Franken, owner of Toronto-based Babyproofers Ltd., suggests that parents use hardware-mounted baby gates. Hardware-mounted gates require small holes to be drilled into the wall and are more difficult to install, but are safer for babies and parents.
Pressure-mounted baby gates are cheaper than other types of gates. However, their construction is not as sturdy as hardware-mounted gates. In addition, they can collapse if improperly installed. Pressure-mounted gates also tend to have shorter extensions, and they may not fit in door frames with large openings. However, they are relatively easy to install and can be moved from room to room if necessary. However, you should be careful to choose a gate with strong hinges.
Safety of accordion-style gates
Accordion-style baby gates are a popular choice, but their design poses a potential safety hazard. Their diamond-shaped or V-shaped openings are particularly prone to entrapment and strangulation. Newer versions of accordion-style baby gates are designed with a filler bar or rail across the top. The consumer product safety commission (CPSC) is working to promote greater product safety.
To prevent choking, accordion-style baby gates should have a rigid top edge, and a mesh screen. Diamond-shaped openings are less likely to entrap a child’s head, and they should not be wider than one-half inches. Make sure the gate is securely anchored in the doorway. Some older accordion-style gates have been recalled due to choking hazards.
The ASTM F1004-19 standard for gates and enclosures addresses the general hazards associated with these gates and enclosures. It addresses hazards associated with bounded openings, sharp points, small parts, and lead in paint. Other issues addressed in the standard include locking and latching mechanisms, pinching, and scissoring. This voluntary standard will be approved on June 1, 2019.