Child safety gates are pretty high on parents' "childproofing" to-do lists. They're super handy in keeping the children off the stairs, out of rooms, and away from dangerous objects. But they do have their dangers. Boy do they have dangers! A new study released in this month's issue of Academic Pediatrics shows that baby-gate related injuries have quadrupled since 1990.
According to researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, when used incorrectly, the gates can lead to some very serious injuries.
Over the course of two decades, researchers recorded more than 37,000 gate-related injuries in the United States alone. When broken down, it's almost 1,800 per year and about 5 instances of gate-related injuries per day.
Most of the injuries were bumps, bruises, cuts, and lacerations (63 percent), but more than 16 percent were traumatic brain injuries. These were sustained from falls after the gates had collapsed or were left open. Especially when placed to block stairs, the poorly installed gates could lead to some serious injuries for your little tyke. And when they learn to scale, open, and climb over the gates, the injuries are far more likely.
Moms! Dads! Just because you've "babyproofed" or "childproofed" your home, that doesn't mean the gear is completely safe. You have to use it correctly each and every time. Whether it's making sure the latch is secure or even that the gate is closed, it's important to check and confirm it's safe.
And above all, even with these handy devices installed in practically every room in your home, you still have to keep a keen eye on the little one. Once they learn to crawl and walk, they'll try to get in anywhere they can. And that includes exhibiting some Spidey skills and attempting to clamber up the gate.
Do you use baby gates? Have you ever run into problems?
Image via Radius Images/Corbis