If you are planning on purchasing a baby or child safety gate there are a few things to keep in mind. Of course, your main consideration should be safety however not every baby gate is as safe as the other, nor is a gate necessarily safe just because it ‘looks’ safe or sturdy.
For example, a few years bag Evenflo produced very nice looking wooden safety gates. They were designed and marketed as being perfect to complement any home’s décor. They were indeed very nice looking gates; however they were made with plastic mounting which actually turned these gates into a safety hazard. They have since been recalled after parents reported several accidents whereby the mounting cracked and the gates swung open allowing children access to the stairs.
When buying a safety gate remember that safety is often more important than how a gate looks. Gates also need to be easy to install, easy to move and simple for adults or older children to unlatch. Most importantly they need to be made in such a way that a young child or toddler cannot get past them.
One part that is often overlooked when shopping for baby gates is the mounting. Hard plastic often cracks or breaks, especially with extended use, therefore you should avoid gates that have any parts made with this type of plastic. Another thing to keep in mind is that gates that are to be installed at either the top or the bottom of a stairwell must be a hard mount type of gate, one that uses screws and other hardware as opposed to one that simply lodges in place such as a pressure mount gate. Stairs are the most dangerous place of all for young children, thus it is imperative that the baby gates for stairs cannot be dislodged.
Many people find it easiest to buy a complete baby gate installation kit, as that provides them with all of the screws and other hardware needed to safely mount the gate, along with detailed instructions on how to do it. Whatever you decide to purchase any gates baby needs to keep them safe must be secure and well made.