Parents who have a baby gate at home should know that the same equipment that is meant to ensure your baby’s safety can cause injury particularly if it’s not used properly. According to research, injuries related to baby gates increased drastically from 4% to 13% over the last two decades. To ensure that the gate serves its purpose without leading to injuries, here are 7 baby gate safety tips that will go a long way in minimizing injuries brought about by baby gates.
*** Lead From the Front… One of the best ways to reduce baby gates injuries is to be a good example on how the gates should be used. Never climb over the gate but open it and pass through. If you climb over the gate, you will be setting a bad precedent to your child, and sooner or later they will climb over the gate.
The likelihood of your child getting injured when climbing over the gate is very high, especially when you consider that they are young and not strong yet, let alone tall enough to climb over. If it’s a top of stairs baby gate, get a gate with a latch gate in the middle that will automatically close the gate once you’ve gone through it.
*** Ensure that the Gate is Well Maintained… Proper maintenance is one of those baby gate safety tips that you should always have in mind when you’re seeking to prevent injuries. You will be using the gate for a couple of years thus the need to keep it well maintained goes without saying. Ensure that you check the screws on a monthly basis and tighten the loose ones. Replace the screws that cannot be tightened.
If you’re using pressure mounted gates, make sure they are correctly positioned at the center of the doorway. Pressure mounted gates slip when they are used too often and could lead to serious injuries if they are not constantly checked. Never fail to conduct regular maintenance on your gate irrespective of how strong the gate looks.
*** Use the Correct Gate… Earlier on, we provided a baby safety gate buyers guide, and one of the key points was the need to buy the correct gate which corresponds with the opening you intend to block. One of the reasons why most kids get injured by baby gate is because parents use the wrong gates to block off entrances. When you use the wrong gate to block the opening, you will be compromising on the efficiency of the gate.
Besides using the correct gate, you need to ensure that its construction is for a child and not a pet. A gate meant restrict a pet will have a mesh material that can be dangerous if you child sticks his or her head in it. Using the right gate may sound like one of those obvious baby safety tips but even then it’s worth mentioning.
*** Block the Stairs… If there’s one place that you need to install a baby gate then, it has been the way leading to the stairs. You need to block the both the top and the bottom of the stairs. For the top of the stairs, you need to install a hardware mounted baby gate because they are stronger. For the bottom of the stairs, you may consider installing pressure mounted baby gates.
Also, you can use pressure mounted baby gates between those entrances that only require temporarily blocking. Blocking the stairs is a safety measure that you should always consider if you want to prevent or reduce the incidences that could lead to injuries to your kid.
*** Ensure That There’s no Furniture Near the Gate… Sooner or later your child will learn to climb. One of the ways they can easily get injured is by trying to climb on furniture so as to go over the gate. The best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to avoid placing the furniture anywhere near the gate. That way you will eliminate any chances of your kid trying to use the furniture as a way of accessing the gate. Also, avoid keeping large toys in your kid’s sleeping room as they could use them to climb over the gate.
*** Install the Gates Correctly… In previous posts, we looked at 5 tips for choosing the best baby gate ease of installation was one of the tips. Ease of installation might be one thing and installing the gate correctly is a totally different thing. You need to install a gate in a way that it remains strong even if it’s constantly used. The best way to know if you’re doing it right is to read the user manual that most baby gates come with.
Different gates will be installed differently. For instance, you will have to fix a hardware mounted gate with the screws and hexes to position it into place securely. With good installation, all features or baby gates can be fully used. Failure to install the gate as it should only increases the risk your child getting injured.
*** Teach Older Kids How to Use the Gates… Out of the many baby gates tip, one important tip that is worth mentioning is the need to teach older kids how to use the gates. You may not be at home all the time to take care of the child, and it’s of utmost importance that older kids learn how to use the gate. It is particularly important to show the older kids how to use the gate because they will know how control the younger kids from accessing the gate.
Also, the older kids will know what to do so to minimize the like hood of an accident. Also, you need to teach anyone who will be in charge of your kid while you’re away how to use the gate. The more awareness you create, the lesser the chances of an accident. There are different types of gates, and you must seek to know what safety measures you can put in place to ensure they are as safe as possible. You may not prevent your kid from accessing the baby gate, but there are things you can do to ensure they remain as safe. With the baby gate safety tips provided above, you now know what to do so as to keep your kid safe all the time and thereby prevent injuries related to baby gates.