Baby Gates Tips

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What are gate extensions?

Gate Extensions

Finding the right baby safety gate for your standard sized doorways is not all that difficult with the wide range of styles on the market today. But wider doorways, angled openings and irregularly-shaped areas can pose a real challenge for parents. Baby gate extensions are often the answer, though. Many popular styles, including Evenflo baby gates and KidCo baby gates, offer separate extensions you can buy to configure a regular model to custom fit your specific space. The most important thing is to make sure that any extension you select is made to fit with the exact model you already have. Don't try to match different styles together or you may sacrifice safety. You can find straight panels to expand the width of your gate, or those that make tight turns possible. Just be sure to measure your doorway or area correctly before you shop, so you can determine the best configuration for your needs.

   
What is a freestanding play gate?

Freestanding Play Gates

Gates aren't just for doorways anymore. Today, you can also find freestanding baby gates, or play dens, that provide a safe place for your baby or toddler to play. Some stand-alone baby safety gates are a simple, enclosed structure that you can set up in any room and works as a fence so baby can play with toys safely on the floor, while others, like a KidCo baby gate called the Play Den, consists of interlocking pieces that can be configured to fit most layouts and has an easy-to-use, one hand release. An optional play mat for the floor provides added comfort for babies and young children.

   
How do I install a baby gate?

Hardware-mounted Gates

Hardware-mounted 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. Hardware-mounted 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 not, you'll have to first install a Gate Mounting Kit, readily available where gates are sold.

   
How much should I expect to spend on a gate?

How Much to Spend on a Baby Gate

How much you should spend on a baby gate really depends on how often you will use it. If you simply need to have something on hand for when company comes over with young children a few times a year, you can probably find an inexpensive pressure-mounted gate for about $25 or less that will work. But if you need a sturdy gate that you will use on a daily basis, consider some of the more expensive, mounted baby safety gates that you can attach in your doorway. These range in price on up to $75 or more, depending on how wide your space is, what style you pick, such as a retractable baby gate or a swinging style, and what material you select. In addition, purchasing gate extensions can sharply increase the price of your system, – usually adding anywhere from $25 to $40 or more for each extra panel, depending on the dimensions you need. But the benefit is that you get a custom fit for your space, along with the peace of mind that goes with it. That makes this is a wise investment.

   
Will a fireplace gate fit around my hard-to-fit space?

Fireplace Gates

Fireplaces pose a real challenge for families with kids. A KidCo baby gate, called the KidCo HearthGate, steps up to the plate with an innovative design that can be installed in places that are hard to fit. This model, like many fireplace gates, can be angled or curved around the hearth in order to mount into the wall and provide ultimate protection against heat, flames and sharp corners. In addition, some fireplace baby safety gates can be made larger, or smaller, by adding or taking away panels to fit your specific dimensions. If your fireplace is set into a larger brick wall, you may need to seek professional help in installing your safety gate. When selecting any fireplace gate, make sure it is made of a non-toxic, heat-resistant finish. You can also use fireplace gates around wood stoves and grills.

   
What can I do to use the baby gate properly?

Baby Gates: Not Just For Kids!

Baby gates keep your infant and toddlers safe. But remember that they are not the only ones who will be using them! Older kids as well as adults in the house will at some point need to maneuver these gates. That is why it is imperative that you get a gate that is easy to open and close securely. Do your best not to step over the gate, especially when the child being protected is watching. You don't want him/her to learn a bad habit!

   
Are there any risks when using a baby gate?

Baby Gate Warning

When searching for the right baby gates, it's important to remember than some gates themselves are dangerous. For example, accordion-style baby gates with large V-shaped openings along the top edge and diamond-shaped openings between the slats are a strangulation hazard. Children who have tried crawling through these gates have died when their heads got trapped in the V-shaped or diamond-shaped openings. The hazardous accordion-style baby gates have not been sold since 1985, however you may still find them at yard sales or in thrift stores, so be alert.

   
What sizes to baby gates come in?

Sizes of Baby Gates

There are a wide variety of baby gates available to protect your baby or toddler in the home. Sizes can range from under 24 inches to over 72 inches, depending on your needs.

Most baby safety gates are adjustable to some length in this range. A latch generally is attached in the middle of the gate that snaps shut, locking the gate into place in a door frame or between the wall and stair banister securely.

   
Why would I need a travel safety gate?

Travel Gates

Travel baby gates can make it easy to go visiting with your baby. These portable, easy-to-stow models make safety a breeze and give you peace on mind in other people's houses or in hotels, which may not be baby proofed to your high standards. These baby safety gates are also good to have on hand at home, for times when you need an extra barrier to keep your children safely contained in one room. One KidCo baby gate, called Gateway to Go, is a reliable option made of a steel frame with a see-through mesh barrier for the body. This model folds to make travel and storage easy and convenient and comes with a handy carrying case. Another good travel choice is an Evenflo baby gate, called Evenflo's Extra Wide and Soft Gate, which transports easily and expands with ease for wider doorways.

   
Why should I get a baby gate?

Baby Gates Save Lives

Baby gates are designed to keep your wandering baby or toddler away from dangerous areas. These can be treacherous stair cases to rooms in the home that have not been "baby-proofed." When searching for baby gates, it is best to do research on the manufacturer beforehand. Your child's safety is one place you don't want to cut corners!

   
Won't baby-proofing my home ruin the décor?

Child Safety and Your Home Décor

Just because you're baby-proofing your home, it doesn't mean your décor has to suffer! No matter how much we love our children, one of the worries a lot of parents have is how all the new equipment will blend in with the rest of the look and feel of the house. The Evenflo baby gate is a great example of form meeting function. Their furniture-quality wood gate comes in both a light and dark oak stain to complement the woodwork in your home. With contoured handrails and balusters, your baby gate can look as finished as a piece of furniture!

   
What is the best way to baby proof a loft?

Safe Banisters and Lofts

When your home features a banister or loft whose spindles seem unsafe for baby, you many wonder what to do. It used to be that you would have to board up your lovely architecture until baby grew up, but not anymore. There are now clear, strong plastic panels that you can put on your banisters and lofts to keep baby from falling through. These can be found on many websites, and in many stores, and are easily customized for your needs.

   
How can I select a baby safety gate?

How to Select Baby Safety Gates

If there is a young child in your house, you've probably already discovered the value of baby safety gates. These baby gates, which come in a variety of styles and materials, provide an important way to keep kids in – or out – of select areas, and are key to your strategy to childproof your surroundings. But like most child safety products, baby gates have to be used properly in order to be effective. Here are some steps to help you pick the best gate for you and your child's needs:

·Determine where you will locate the gate.

·Consider the key factors such as the size of your doorway, the age of your children and what type of molding you will be attaching the gate to, in order to select the most appropriate choice.

·Review the range of gates that are available. Stationary gates that bolt into the wall are safe choices for the top of stairways, while a retractable baby gate or swinging gate would be convenient for heavily-trafficked areas.

·Consider the fact that gates also come in different materials, including wood, plastic, metal and mesh, so you can decide what will fit best with your household style.

·Shop around. Compare gate features, dimensions and prices to come up with a few good options. Remember that oversized doorways may need extra wide gates, so be sure to have your facts when you look at different models.

·Make sure that whatever gate you select is safe. Assume your child will lean on the gate, so it is essential that it not move even under pressure.

   
Do all baby gates require hardware installation?

Pressure-mounted Baby Gates

Pressure-mounted gates are easy to install since they don't require tools. They expand to fit a desired opening and secure with tension. 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. Never use 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. Beware of child safety gates with square openings as they may be easy for some children to climb.

   
Are all baby gates made of wood or metal?

The Flexibility of Baby Gates

When we think of gates we usually imagine wood or metal barriers. Not all safety barriers are made with these materials! Some are made from Plexiglas or even high-strength fabrics. For example, the KiddyGuard safety barrier protects children up to the age of two from dangerous places.

It can be used in doorways and stairways, and expands up to 51 inches. The KiddyGuard fits inside a doorframe or between two walls and is retractable when not in use, making it quite a flexible barrier in more ways than one!

   
Where can I buy a 72" wooden expandable gate?

Large Wooden Expanable Gates

Large wooden safety gates are hard to find sometimes. Shopping around before you buy will help you find the best gate for your money. Onestepahead.com has many gates to choose from, and many are very large. They even had modular wooden gates that you can configure yourself for large or oddly shaped areas.

   
What are the advantages of a swinging baby gate?

Swinging Baby Gates

Baby gates are great, but try stepping over them a few times and you will understand the convenience of opting for a swinging gate. This style allows easy access to the room yet still offers an important barrier to protect your child from entering or leaving without your help. Swinging gates come in a variety of models and have a wide range of mechanisms to open and close them. It makes sense to look around and determine what features are important to you. For instance, a popular Evenflo baby gate called the Metal Pressure/Swing Baby Safety Gate offers a pad for pushing the swinging door open and closed with your knee. This allows you to open the gate without having to put down your baby or other bundles. Other swinging baby safety gates work with a button right on the gate that you push for it to open. For older toddlers who might be able to figure out the mechanism before you want them to, you could consider a safety gate style that works with a remote. Just be sure to keep the remote out of their reach, and also be careful not to lose it!

   
What kinds of baby gates are there?

Types of Baby Gates

Luckily, parents no longer have to rely on one standard baby gate. Responding to the needs of the consumer, companies have begun developing different styles of baby gates. For example, the Kidco baby gate comes in a variety of styles. For example, Kidco carries the classic Beechwood Gate, which is adjustable and fits at the top of most staircases. Also available is the Configure Gate, which has three 24-inch interlocking segments that adjust in ten-degree increments.

   
Do I have to leave the baby gate up all the time?

Retractable Baby Gates: An Innovative Idea

The invention of the retractable baby gate is a relief for parents with active kids! Each gate is expandable usually to 53” and retracts -- safely, without snapping back -- into its own housing. Additional wall brackets can be mounted at other locations in the house, and the same gate can be used to block access. Wall brackets can even be mounted at other houses like babysitters' and grandparents' so that the gate can travel along with your child.

   
What are window safety gates?

Window Safety Gates

Baby gates aren't just for doorways anymore. You can also purchase special styles today that are made to block off windows so you can reduce the risk of your child having a serious fall. These gates usually mount right onto the window frame so they are secure. Some attach inside, while others are installed on the outside. There are many different styles to match the look of your home, from plain wooden styles to fancy wrought iron designs. In addition, some gates cover the entire window, while others only cover the bottom portion. In addition, for irregular size windows, some security companies can custom make this important safety product for your specific dimensions. In addition to keeping your kids safe, an added benefit to using special baby safety gates on your windows is that this also will discourage anyone from breaking into your home. Just make sure any window safety gate you select will swing open or has a latch that can be detached by an adult in case of a fire.

   
What do I need to know about buying a stairway safety gate?

Stairway Safety Gates

If you plan to put a baby gate at the top of a stairway, it is essential that you select one that has been approved for this usage. Young children often lean on baby gates and try to climb on them. While this is dangerous anywhere, the top of stairs poses an even greater hazard, since if the gate gave way, your child could go tumbling down with it. Therefore, it is important to plan accordingly. Stairway gates must be firmly mounted or screwed into your wall or banister, so there is no chance that it can give way. It is important to note that pressure mounted gates, which are held by exerting pressure between two walls but are not physically attached, should never be used on the top or the bottom of stairs. For further stairway safety, consider a KidCo baby gate called Gateway that allows you to set the direction the gate swings. For even more protection, select a gate that comes with an alarm. This will alert you if the gate isn't closed all of the way or if your child tampers with it.

   
Where can I find baby gates?

Where to Find Baby Gates

Baby gates are easy to find. They are sold in most discount and houseware stores, baby specialty stores and some home improvement and hardware stores. Pet stores are another good place to look, as baby safety gates can be used to keep pets contained in one room. In addition, many security companies offer customized gate options to fit your home. You can also shop online for baby gates, which makes it easy to compare models, features and price 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the comfort of your own home. Just be careful about buying used baby gates from online auctions and second-hand stores, as some of the older models do not meet today's safety standards, and some have been recalled.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Jolyn Wells-Moran