As there are differences in the designs of houses, schools, and day-care centers, together with the varied developmental needs of children, one could expect many ways to ensure physical safety. Given that a child’s environment performs a significant role in his/her holistic development, one cannot be careless in choosing tools that can promote both learning and exploration by the child within the spaces where he/she is. Thanks to the invention of the child safety gate, parents and caregivers could lessen their apprehensions about possible dangers as the child is learning how to stretch his/her muscles by walking and tumbling.
Sharing this belief, childproofing products manufacturers seek various ways in improving child safety gates. For consumers, it has been tempting to rely on “common sense” in looking for the best buys from the large pool to select from. However, common sense usually betrays. The good thing is that there are many agencies which define the standards of well-made safety gates. In the US, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association which depends on ASTM International, issues certification seals to products which pass their tests.
How early should a child safety gate be used? According to the JPMA, as early as 6 months until the precarious age of 2 years when the child is learning how to roll, stand, climb, and walk, the use of a child safety gate is encouraged. It should always be higher than of the child’s height.
As to setting up a pressure mounted or a hardware mounted child safety gate, several guidelines need to be considered: the place where it is to be installed, the dimensions of the place, and the type of surface where the gate will be mounted on. The pressure mounted type is used in locations such as doorways and ground floors. The hardware mounted type is safer and sturdier because they are especially designed for more accident-prone locations such as the top of the stairs, halls, and entryways. Some are even designed for places such as the hot tubs and fire places. With strict safety standards in mind at the same time, many producers cannot set aside aesthetic appeal and affordability in their criteria.
How long should a child safety gate be used? Once the nifty child has learned the technique of opening the gate or climbing over it, or if the height is not appropriate anymore, then it’s time to say bye-bye to a particular child safety gate.
Reading the product’s manual thoroughly saves one from a lot of mistakes which usually end up with the child in bandages and trauma. Also, regular inspection of the products and the monitoring of the child’s developmental progress come with the use of every childproofing product, the end of which is to keep the young one from all possible harm. As all possible means to make the child “secure” are considered, one has to remember that childproofing products have to give the child a feeling of being loved