When Should Physician Discuss Baby Gates?

When should a parent discuss the use of a baby gate with their pediatrician? Most parents aren’t sure how to proceed. In fact, a recent U.S. study found that only 25 percent of parents used a baby gate with their child. Despite these findings, the researchers still blame pediatricians for causing this low level of usage. They looked at 140 parents whose children were examined by a primary care physician.

Safety of baby gates

fireplace safety gate

Whether you’re considering purchasing a baby gate or are unsure whether it’s right for your family, you can rest easy knowing that the American Society for Testing and Materials has developed voluntary standards for the product. Baby gates with a hardware-mounted latch are generally more secure than pressure-mounted ones. While pressure-mounted gates can still pose a threat, they are not designed to prevent falls. Infants from six months to two years old should be properly secured with a baby gate. Benefits of Using Baby Gates

Hazards of accordion-style gates

While a popular baby gate, accordion-style gates are fraught with safety concerns. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), they are a serious entrapment and strangulation hazard, and the CPSC recommends that parents remove these gates as soon as their child learns to open them. The diamond-shaped openings on accordion-style gates can entrap the head of a small child.

Safety of pressure-mounted gates

Pressure-mounted baby gates are easy to install and clean, but they shouldn’t be used at the top of the stairs. This is because the baby gate could be knocked out of position and your child could fall down the stairs. It is best to install the gate when your child is six to nine months old, as before this age, your baby is still unable to crawl. Pressure-mounted gates are easy to install if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Safety of vertical-style gates

A study released last year by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has shown the potential dangers of vertical-style baby gates. The design of these gates poses a potential trip hazard when they are open. As a result, 19 injuries were reported, including four drowning fatalities. Of the non-fatal injuries, one involved the hospitalization of a child who was comatose. Two other children suffered minor laceration/contusion injuries.

Safest place to install a gate in your home

It is important to know where to install a baby gate in your home. You should avoid installing one that has an accordion design or is pressure mounted. These baby gates are more likely to pose a risk of strangulation, and they may not meet current safety standards. Once your child has mastered opening and closing the gate, remove it. You should also keep your baby gate securely locked when not in use, as pets could get stuck between the bars.

Safest place to remove a gate

Where is the safest place to remove a baby gate? It’s not at the top of the stairs, which is the most likely place for your toddler to climb a baby gate. But, even there, it is not as safe as you might think. If your child does manage to climb the gate, it can fall. In these cases, the safest place to remove a baby gate is the bottom.

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