As you may already know, the best safety gates for top of stairs are an important item for your home now that you have a baby or toddler motoring about the house. Accidents, such as falls down the stairs, are one of the biggest causes of home injuries. For this reason, and many others as well, baby gates are simply a ‘must-have’ in your home. But what should you look for in a safety gate? What type do you need? While it can often seem confusing, here’s a look at how to choose the perfect gate for your needs.
To get started you’ll first want to asses your needs. Are you looking for a baby safety gate to prevent access to the kitchen, bathroom, living room or other areas of your home? Or do you need more of a baby gate for stairs so your child can’t go up or down the steps? This is critical because one type of gate is fine for the former, but another type of gate is necessary for stairs. Here’s why.
A pressure mounted baby gate is for use in any room or area in your home that you need simple protection. They are easy to set up and take down, making them extremely portable. On the other hand, a hardware mounted baby gate is one that is use most often at the top or bottom of the steps in your home. This style of gate is very strong and durable, giving it the safety you need in order to prevent accidents around the stairs from occurring.
It’s amazing at how strong babies and toddlers really are. They can use the gate to pull themselves up and will also shake it with their hands. With a pressure type of gate it can often come loose with all the pulling and shaking. Imagine it collapsing over the stairs? This is why it is critical to always use a hardware mounted safety gate at the steps.
Look for baby gates that have an easy to use door latching mechanism. What I mean by that is to be sure you can use it with one hand and that it automatically latches behind you. I prefer that due to the fact that it can be easy for others in your home to forget to latch the gate behind them. What happens next? Yes, you got it, your little one follows right along behind and gets through the gate.
Another point to keep an eye out for when buying child safety gates is to get the right size of gate. You want one that is not only tall enough for your needs, but one that is wide enough. If you need extensions for a wider than normal opening, get them. Don’t overlook this point because trying to extend the gate out too far can make it unstable, but having a simple extension can give it the strength you need.
Finally, another important thing to look for in any baby gate is the spacing between the slats. Make sure the vertical bars or wood slats are not too far apart to where your child could get their head through it. Almost every gate on the market today will be built to where this is not a problem, but if you are purchasing an older used gate or even getting one that is being handed down, it may be an older style that doesn’t have this safety feature built-in.