Are baby safety gates really that safe?


Are baby safety gates really that safe?

Most parents of toddlers who live in a house that has more than one storey own a safety gate or two; one at the top of the stairs and one at the bottom.

This is usually to prevent their kids from tumbling down the stairs, but sometimes those gates aren’t safe enough- especially for the parents with a more energetic kid.

A new study done in the US says that more than 2000 kids receive emergency room treatment each year because of safety gates-related injuries; either they fell through the gate or they climbed on top.

It’s important for parents to know the dangers and precautions of using a safety gate; the researchers said it’s better to have a bolted gate on top of the stairs because it’s sturdier. The pressure-mounted gate should be placed at the bottom so that the risk of falling isn’t there; if the baby does manage to tug the gate hard enough he/she would already be downstairs so it will be fine.

Most of the incidents happen when the gate isn’t strong enough, so it falls over when its pushed or tugged too hard.

According to Mail Online, the study was done by employees of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Researcher, Lara McKenzie examined children up to the age of six-years-old.

The number of injured kids nearly tripled over the past 20 years.

The cases went from 4 per 100,000 children in 1990, to about 13 per 100,000 in 2010. Most of the children who were injured were above the age of two-years-old and 61 percent of them were boys.

The injuries were never too serious, most were soft-tissue injuries; bumps and bruises were the most common types of injuries which accounted for 33 percent. The other, more serious injuries were brain injuries and concussions, which was about 16 percent of the patients.

The good part is that the majority of the patients, 97.6 percent, were not hospitalised.

Here are some tips from Mum’s Grapevine that you can use when buying a baby safety gate:

  • Choosing the wall-mounted gate is always the safer option because of its sturdiness.
  • Always measure the distance between the two walls correctly so that it’s easier when you have to buy an extension.
  • Make sure the height of the gate is at least 60cm and should be at least three quarters of your child’s height.
  • Gate slats should at all times be vertical to prevent kids from climbing- they should also be thin enough for them not to get their head and torso stuck.
  • Pet gates are not a suitable replacement.

Has your child ever climbed through or over a safety gate? 

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