Safety Saturday- Gates Galore!

When your baby becomes mobile, install a gate. Sounds simple, right? Not necessarily! Gates today come in a variety of styles and provide many features for every need. Here is only a sampling of the questions you need to answer before selecting a gate to keep your active baby safe from hazardous falls down the stairs:

Where do I need the gate?

  • At the top of the stairs
  • In an entryway
  • In a wide or odd space

How do I mount the gate?

  • Pressure
  • Hardware

Do I need a barrier or pass-through feature?

Should I buy?

  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Soft

If you choose a hardware-mounted gate, you attach it to surrounding walls or door frames with screws. Hardware-mounted models can take longer to install, but are very sturdy and a great choice for the top and bottom of staircases. A pressure-mounted gate relies on pressure to stay in place and is great for doorways, where they fit easily.

No matter what gate or how many gates you decide to install, be sure to ALWAYS follow all manufacturers’ instructions for installation and use.

Tips for Selecting Product

  • Select the right gate for your needs. Before leaving home, measure the opening size at the location the gate will be used.
  • Some gates are not appropriate for use at the top of a stairway. Check the product use recommendations.
  • Look for the JPMA Certification Seal.

Tips for Use

  • Gates with expanding pressure bars should be installed with the adjustment bar or lock side away from the baby.
  • Anchor the gate securely in the doorway or stairway.
  • To avoid baby pushing through a gate and falling down the stairs, a safety gate, at the top of stairs, should be hardware mounted on both ends and limited to swing open in one direction - away from stairs.
  • Safety gates with slats wider than 3 inches should never be used.
  • Always close the gate when you leave the room and never leave the baby unattended.

Don’t forget: as your baby grows, his climbing abilities will change. If he tries to climb the safety gate, it's time to teach him how to go up and down safely.

Look For The Seal: In the market for a new gate? Check out this list of certified gates that are part of the JPMA Certification Program. The seal exemplifies a manufacturer's commitment to safety and proves that a manufacturer has tested their product annually to an established standard. Manufacturers participating in the certification program are held to high standards and are obligated to meet those principles with every product.