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Baby on the loose! How to buy a child’s safety gate

As your baby learns to crawl, and eventually to walk, he’ll want to start getting into everything. Everything is new and exciting, and wherever your baby can stick his little fingers, hands, toes, etc. (you name it — he can fit it in there…), he will most certainly do it. This means it’s time restrict your baby to only safe areas, with safety gate. A child’s safety gate is a great way to keep your little oen from leaving the nursery, entering the kitchen or accessing your balcony. Here’s what you need to look for when buying a safety gate and important info to keep in mind.

How a safety gate works

A safety gate is basically a barrier you put up to block off access to a certain part of your home for your baby. You should be able to easily pass through the gate by using the latch, but the top of the gate and latch should be out of reach for your child. There are two main types of safety gates: safety gates for doors, and safety gates for corridors.

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Safety gates for doors

These are meant to fit into the door frame of your home. They are generally made for standard door widths and to fit in place with your existing door. There are also gates made for sliding doors.

Safety gates for corridors

These safety gates are wider and usually come with extenders to stretch out for wider corridors. This is a choice if you want to give your child the space to roam but prevent access to places like the kitchen or stairwell.

What to look out for in a safety gate

When choosing a safety gate, you should think about what would best suit your home and your child. Consider these things:

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  • Installation. Mounted gates give a more secure fit but if you don’t want to drill holes in the wall, many safety gates do not require mounting but are made to spring snugly in place.
  • Type of opening. Most safety gates use a swing door, but note that this requires space for the gate to swing open or shut. If you do not have the space for this, look for a retractable version instead.
  • Type of barrier. Most safety gates use vertical bars to block access. Make sure the bars are not too wide or too narrow that your baby can get body parts stuck between them. The gate should be hard to climb. Metal or plastic mesh is also an durable alternative to bars.
  • Safety latch. You should try out the latch before buying a safety gate. Ideally you want a latch that you can open with one hand but isn’t so simple that your child can figure it out.
  • Height. Safety gates only last as long as they remain too high for your baby to reach. If you want a safety gate that will last a long time, get an extra-tall safety gate that reaches up above your waist. Even toddlers will not be able to reach that high.

 

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How to buy a safety gate

When shopping for a safety gate, you should do the following:

  • Decide which part of your home you wish to install a safety gate.
  • Measure the width of your doorway or the corridor. If it is wider than normal, you should look for a safety gate with extenders.
  • Check for sufficient space for the gate to open and shut.
  • Make sure you buy from a store with a return policy in case the safety gate does not suit your needs.

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