A child safety gate restricts access of children to areas that are dangerous for them. They are made so that a child cannot open them. They come in a variety of materials ranging from wooden, plastic, accordion style, solid panels which can be moved to clear panels that will allow a child to see through, etc. Though primarily used in doorways, they may be used at the beginning of a flight of stairs or to create a play area for children that would keep them out of dangerous areas.
Screw-fitting Stair Gate: These can be used at the top of a staircase or on doorways. They are easy to install. One needs to screw the fixings of the gate to the wall with a drilling machine. The advantage of this type of gate is that if fitted properly, they do not come loose. Another benefit is that there is no bar across the bottom. Hence, the threat of a tripping accident at the top of the stairs is ruled out.
Pressure-fitting Gate: These do not require the fixings to be drilled or permanent adhesives to be used on the walls. They expand until they fit tightly into the door frame. They are an ideal choice to be used as a separator in a room. However, they should not be used on top of a staircase.
Auto-close Baby Gate: As the name suggests, these close on their own, thereby ensuring the parents a greater peace of mind. These are usually pressure-type fitting child safety gates.
Bannister and Balcony Guard: These are popularly used on stairs, and banisters and railings on balconies. By installing these, one can be sure that the child does not get stuck in the gaps or slips through them.
Retractable Stair Gate: These are like roller blinds on their sides. These are made of a tough material that can withstand an impact of over 200 lbs. They are suitable for kids up to 2 years of age. They need to be screwed to the wall and are generally twice as expensive as a regular screw or pressure-fitting gate.
Wooden Baby Gate: Both the screw and pressure-fitting gates may be available in wood. They increase the beauty and look of the house. However, if there are pets in the house, they may easily get spoiled.
A Word of Caution
There are other varieties of gates for stairs that are available in the market. However, while buying one, a parent must keep in mind that those with screw fittings are safer than the pressure fitting types. A pressure fitting type uses pressure to clamp in between spaces. There is a possibility that a child might be able to apply pressure and push the gate open.
Before installing child safety gates on stairs or across the doorway, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Do not ever buy second-hand ones. Obviously your baby’s safety is the first thing on your mind, isn’t it? Refer to some reviews before buying one. Even if you have installed one, do not rely completely on it. Keep an eye on your child as much as possible.