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Safety gates are designed to prevent babies from entering areas of the home where they might not be safe, including stairways, bathrooms and kitchens. Safety gates, also called baby gates, come in many different styles and designs. They are generally made from plastic, wood or metal and can be expanded to fit a range of doorway widths. Child safety gates may be used indoors or outdoors and can be either removable (pressure mounted) or permanently installed by screwing into the wood or doorframe. However, please note: removable safety gates should NOT be used at the top of a stairway because a child may be able to dislodge the gate. This is because removable gates are held in place via pressure on the walls on either side of it, and could potentially be pushed down. In addition, as children get older, they may attempt to climb over a safety gate, therefore they should never be left alone in a room closed off by a gate. Generally, no matter where you plan to use a safety gate, look for one that is not easily opened or dislodged. For homes that are designed with open floor plans and very wide doorways, super-wide safety gates are available. If itís not possible at all to install a safety gate in your home, some baby gates can fit together to create a freestanding gated area.

Older, accordion-style child safety gates have been recalled because they pose a safety hazard. These gates have V-shaped spaces at the top of the gate that can trap babies. Look for a gate with straight-slat design, not the older accordion-style with the V-shaped openings. For this reason, according to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, it is always best to buy a brand new safety gate, not a used one.


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