It's one of the unwritten rules of parenting: you have a baby, you install baby gates. At the top of the stairs, at the bottom of the stairs, in the kitchen, and in front of the breakables, baby gates are intended to keep your curious toddler safe from injury. But what if they're actually causing more injury than they're preventing?
According to a new study published in the journal Academic Pediatrics, almost 2,000 kids head to the emergency room each year with injuries that were caused by baby safety gates.
Fortunately, most of the injuries involved bumps and bruises and weren't serious. But researchers noted that these injuries were caused when the babies or toddlers fell through baby gates after attempting to push on or climb them — predictable behavior in the baby world.
In most cases, the primary culprits are baby gates that are pressure-mounted. While these types of gates may prevent a crawling baby from accidentally falling down the stairs, they actually provide a dangerous perch for wobbly toddlers who use them to help them stand and in many cases, their weight causes the gate to topple over. And once toddlers get to the climbing stage, there is really nothing that can hold these types of gates in place against the pull of a baby's weight.
Experts recommend that parents and caregivers use bolted baby safety gates whenever possible and particularly around stairs to prevent these types of injuries.
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