A New Study Finds Baby Gates Linked to Nearly 2,000 Injuries Each Year
One of the most common safety devices used to childproof a home are safety gates. When installed at the top and bottom of stairs or in other areas where children would be in danger, baby gates are an effective way to prevent child injury. However, a study published in American Pediatrics warns that when not used properly or installed correctly, baby gates can lead to injuries.
Baby Gate Safety Study
According to a report by CBS News, the new study conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio looked at hospital records dating back to 1990 and found nearly 2,000 children ages six and under each year are injured in baby gate-related accidents. Furthermore, the study found:
- Since 1990, baby gate-related injuries have more than tripled.
- Children under two are more to be injured in falls after baby gates collapsed.
- Children between the ages of two and six were more likely to be injured by contact with the gate itself.
The study concluded that due to the “prevalence of preventable injuries, greater efforts are needed to promote proper usage, ensure safety in product design, and increase awareness of age-related recommendations for use of gates.”
Baby Gate Safety Tips
The following advice for choosing and using child gates properly is provided by KidsHealth.
- Pressure-mounted and freestanding gates should not be used at the top of the stairs as they can fall over if pushed hard enough. Gates that swing outwards should also not be used at the top of stairs.
- The space between the floor and the gate bottom should be no more than 1 to 2 inches.
- Choose a gate that is no less than three quarters of your child’s height.
- Check for sharp edges and pieces that could cut your child.