Once your baby starts crawling, you cannot ignore the fact that they face the risk of falling down the stairs. The child has achieved another important milestone in their growth but this comes with more challenges.
You may also want to stop the child from accessing certain rooms and this is possible by having retractable baby gates. One of the key areas that pose a safety challenge is the stairs. To restrict the movement of the child going up and down stairs, retractable gates at the top and bottom of the staircase are great.
The decision to source the right retractable baby gates, or retractable safety gate, to have around the house should be reached upon making various considerations.
There are different retractable gates available that are designed in such a way that they are can fit into various dimensions. They are also easy to install allowing you to take it easy while doing it.
These gates are fitted with screws or are pressure mounted. By just imagining of the child going up the stairs and rolling sends shivers down the spine. Therefore, retractable baby gates are one of the safety tools that you cannot afford to miss in your home.
Considerations to Make Before Purchasing the Retractable Baby Gates
When purchasing the best retractable safety gates to ensure baby safety, there are various factors that you will need to consider to make it work for you. Apart from being used on the stairs, retractable gates may also be used in hallways or openings and doorways between rooms.
The first factor that you should consider is the space that you need to block. The dimension of stairs varies depending on the house and, therefore, you can’t simply go into the baby store and pick the first one that comes your way as you may have an extra wide gap to plug.
You will need to have information on the width of the stair to ensure that you pick the right one. If you have stairs outside, it is important to note that you will need to different set of retractable baby gates from what you will use inside the house.
Retractable baby gates that will be used outside are specifically designed for outdoor use. This means that they are more tolerant of harsh weather, unlike the indoor type.
Therefore, plan where you need the gates and once at the store, pick the right ones accordingly. Materials used to make the retractable baby gates is an important factor. You do not want to be constantly replacing gates.
Just like how you check the fabric while buying clothes, make sure that you check out the material of the gates to ensure the material is strong enough to avoid it collapsing if pushed by the child.
The reason for purchasing the retractable baby gates is to ensure that the child does not access particular areas. Retractable baby gates to be used outdoors are made of materials that have been UV treated.
This is done to ensure that it does not fade due to being exposed to the sun. We all want our homes to look good despite the numerous baby products that are around while the baby is growing up.
However, choosing the material that won’t fade will give you the satisfaction you need. Moreover, the metallic parts that form the retractable baby gates are galvanized and this prevents rusting.
The most important factor that you cannot ignore is certification. Usually, an increased variety of products on the market means that you are more likely to purchase a product that is not entirely safe for your baby.
Some of the manufacturer’s main priority is making a profit without following the necessary steps. The product may contain harmful parts for the baby. Therefore, as a parent, ensure that you are always dealing with a reputable brand.
The safety of our children should come first and since we may not be able to understand the concept that goes on during the making of these products, we need to rely on the certification. By doing so, we are sure that we are purchasing safe retractable gates for our children.
Best Retractable Baby Gates to Use at Your Home
There are numerous retractable baby gates for stairs that are on the market. Choosing the brand is necessary as it ensures that the baby is protected and you will not have to incur more cost making replacements.
The various categories of retractable baby gates you can choose from include pressure-fit gates, screw-fit gates, travel gates, and mesh safety roller gates.
1. Screw-Fit Baby Stair Gates
To fix this retractable baby gate on your stairs, you will need to use metal screws. The gate can be made of wooden material or metal. This is one of the more traditional retractable baby gates.
To ensure that it gives you excellent results, take measurements before visiting the store to avoid the gate not fitting properly. The staircase has a sturdy fitting and is strong hence you will not have to worry about your big pets.
The child can also hold onto the stair gate without resulting in falls. You will also not have to worry about tripping as the gate lacks a rail at the bottom. If you chose this gate, it is recommended that you use it at the top of the stairs.
One con of the screw-fit-baby gate is that your house will be left with holes once it is removed. This is because you will need screws to fit the gate on your stairs. Moreover, it is a bit tedious as it’s more of a DIY job. However, I am sure that the satisfaction of making the house safe for the baby will be worth the work.
2. Pressure-Fit Baby Stair Gates
The U-shaped gate frame is held into position by pressure in all the four points. You can either get wooden or metal pressure mounted retractable baby gates. In case you purchase this baby stair gate only not to fit well, worry not as there are extensions available in the market.
Wall cups will also come handy if the pressure is not enough to hold the gate on the wall. You will be more confident using them as they ensure that there is enough strength on the gates.
The benefit of having this retractable baby gate in your house is that you won’t have to worry about any holes in the wall. It is easy to install and will also be less tedious.
There are extra features of the gate that will ensure that the baby is well protected against accessing the stairs. For instance, alarms can be installed with auto-closing mechanisms.
This retractable baby gate may, however, pose a risk of tripping. This is due to that fact that it is U-shaped meaning it has a rail at the bottom. Therefore, ensure that it is not used at top of stairs.
3. Travel Baby Retractable Baby Gates
Traveling usually pose a challenge as you are not sure of the environment the new place. This is more stressful if you will have to stay for a few days.
Similarly to having your diaper bag with you every time you travel, you can also include this retractable baby gate for stairs in your ‘things to have’ list. This will give you the much-needed peace that your child will be safe even when in a new environment.
The travel baby gate is made up of mesh and easily comes out of the wall once the pressure is released. They are portable, in terms of being easily foldable, hence occupies just a small space.
This particular type of gate is only effective for travel and, therefore, should not be used as your everyday retractable baby gate. This is because you are forced to put the gate down and up every time you go past it and this can be a tedious process.
4. The Mesh Safety Roller Retractable Baby Gates
You can choose when to use this particular type of gate as it can be easily retracted when it’s not needed. Just like the roller blind, the gate is easily rolled. To install it, you will need to screw it into the wall.
A pro of using the heavy-duty mesh roller retractable baby gates is that tripping is greatly reduced as it does not have a bottom role. If your staircase is wide and you are facing a challenge of getting a perfect baby gate, worry not as mesh roller retractable baby gate will work perfectly for you.
Not only is it perfect for the wide opening but also when rolled fit into a small space. The gate is very effective in making your house safe for the baby especially when it comes to the risk of falling down the stairs.
The retractable gate is more expensive when compared to metal and wood gates, but then you will not regret the service it will offer to you and the baby. It is also a bit hard to install and you may need a professional to ensure that it is perfectly fitted.
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Children Under 5 Were Taken to Hospitals for Stair-related Injuries Between 1999 and 2008 (Source: Pediatrics)
Retractable gates at the top and bottom of the staircase are ideal when children begin walking.
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