YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT . . .
gates help prevent a fall down the stairs, as well as access to
“off-limits” rooms such as home offices or adult exercise areas. You can use
them to differentiate adult from toddler areas, offering a safe play space for
your baby while protecting your valuables, too. Safety
gates range in size from widths of approximately 25 inches to as wide as 30
feet, and average 30 inches in height. It's wise to install safety
gates before your child becomes
mobile. This helps prevent injuries and will also give you time to become
accustomed to using them regularly.
STYLES OF SAFETY GATES
examine the areas for which you need safety
gates to select the safest and most appropriate type for each location. The
gate you need may be determined by its location rather than how you want it to
operate or look.
are designed to be mounted between two solid wood surfaces such as a wood framed
doorway. (See our Gate
Mounting Kit, #2610 which helps solve mounting issues in other areas.) Once
gates are installed they should always remain closed since an open gate is a
safety hazard for both toddlers and adults. Consider installing gates in areas
such as front foyers or hallways rather than on staircases as they may be easier
to install and may be more visually appealing, too.
gates are easier to install than those that attach with hardware since they
don't require tools and carpentry skills. They expand to fit a desired opening
and secure with tension. Pressure gates tend to be inconvenient, since most must
be removed and replaced each time you enter and leave rooms. Also, since many
parents climb over pressure
gates, there’s the chance of injury to adults as well as to tots who try
to copy them. Pressure
gates are available to fit openings from about 28-60 inches, and are best
suited for doorways separating two rooms that are on the same level.
guidelines for the use of pressure
gates: Never us them at the top of stairs, as there is always the danger of
your child's weight pushing them over. If you do use them between rooms, mount
them with the locking bar facing away from your child, and make sure they fit
snugly within openings to resist the strength of your child. Select a gate that
has been designed for use with children and not puppies. Beware of gates with
square openings as they may be easy for some children to climb.
gates attach with screws to walls and banisters. These gates usually open
and close much like a door. This makes them more convenient for areas you'll be
walking through regularly. They can be mounted between two walls, two banisters
or a banister and a wall.
with all safety equipment, gates should be checked frequently for secure
fittings, mounts, latching devices and effective operation. Available in wood or
gates differ with respect to size, shape and overall design and fit openings
from approximately 25 to 67 inches. Most have vertical slats to make them
difficult for toddlers to climb. Although the latching mechanisms vary, most are
designed for easy adult operation.
gates are designed to be installed into a solid wood surface. If your
doorway or opening is already framed in wood you can install the gate without
any preparation. If this is not the case, you’ll have to first install a
Gate Mounting Kit (with screws or wall anchors if no stud is available) on
each side of the opening. If you are attaching the gate to a stairway post that
is not square from top to bottom you may also need to install a Gate
walk-through gates attach with screws to walls and banisters in the same
fashion as hardware-mounted gates. With a walk-through gate, however, only a
portion of the gate or “door” swings open and closed instead of the entire
gate. This style of gate is ideal for small areas and even wide areas where an
extra-long gate is needed and swinging the entire gate would be inconvenient or
impossible. Walk-through gates come in many shapes and may even extend up to 20
feet or more. Some must be mounted in a straight line while others may be
configured around corners or irregular shapes to fit almost any space you need.
Favored for their flexibility and design, most walk-through gates feature
one-hand latching for adult convenience. Since all walk-through gates have a
bottom threshold, it’s especially important that they be closed after entering
or exiting and that they not be installed on staircases whenever possible.
walk-through gates operate the same way as hardware-mounted walk-through
gates. Since they secure with tension, pressure-mounted walk-through gates
should not be used on stairways but are a good choice for doorways separating
rooms that are on the same level in your home. They are available to fit
openings from 28 to 45 inches wide.
DON'TS: THE PROPER USE OF SAFETY GATES
DO select a safety
gate which is JPMA or ASTM
approved. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for mounting the gate, and be
sure the gate is secure when installed.
DO test the locking mechanism to make
sure it works properly every time you use it.
DO get in the habit of closing gates
all the time, even if your baby is sleeping safely in his crib. This will help
prevent you from forgetting to close the gate when your baby is nearby.
DO use a mounting
kit, unless you are mounting the gate to a wooden door frame or other flat
DO install safety
gates early–before your child is mobile.
DO take into consideration the total
length of time (and number of children) for which gates will be needed. Select a
gate which will best withstand time and constant use.
DO follow manufacturer's instructions
concerning when to remove safety gates. (Most recommend that gates be removed at
age 2 to 2 1/2 or when a child is tall enough to climb over them.)
DO be careful and remember to always
close all gates, especially walk-through gates as the threshold could be tripped
a pressure-mounted gate at the top of the stairs.
older style, hand-me-down safety gates.
over gates. This provides children with behavior to imitate.
pet gates which usually have a square mesh opening that are easy for tots to
- DON'T leave
your child unattended, or rely on safety gates to keep your child safe.
information given and the products referred to can reduce the likeliness of
injury and are intended to help you provide a safer environment for your child.
The effectiveness of suggested products depends on proper installation and use.
There is no replacement for adult supervision.