Monday, 8 August 2011

Safety Gates and Stair Gates - 3 Tips on Keeping Your Baby From Taking a Tumble

It was one of the scariest moments of my life. My son was barely two years old and still in diapers when I heard a blood-curdling cry coming from the living room. I instinctively rushed like a freight train from my bedroom to the source of commotion, only to find my son standing there at the base of the stairs with blood gushing from his mouth. In his hand was his own front tooth. I was speechless. Gathering him up in my arms I rushed him along with the disembodied tooth to the dentist, breaking every traffic law there is.

Luckily, the dentist was able to replace the tooth, and there was no serious damage other than the trauma it had caused us all. Apparently, my son had taken a short but hard tumble - only a couple of steps - and hit his tooth on the banister. That's when I decided (after lots of self-recriminations) that I needed to invest in stair gates throughout the house to prevent anything like this from happening in the future. Since I ended up trying all the major brands, I learned a few things along the way and thought I should share my observations with my readers.

First of all, when you start looking for a safety gate for your toddler, make sure you research the major brands out there and choose one which is recommended by a lot of folks. For me personally, I like the gates from Dreambaby (don't worry, I'm not an employee) for the simple reason that they have proven incredibly reliable. If you buy one from an online distributor you can often save money instead of buying directly from retail. Also most of the best stair gates from solid brands tend to use a swing close technology, so that you can open them easily at the push of a button and they close behind you. Look into that when you're checking the different models. This feature is so useful when your hands are full - you don't want your kid to sneak out behind you!

My second piece of advice is to evaluate all the spaces in your home where you'll need gates and get the measurements and where exactly you'll install them. The type of gate you need to protect stairs is not the same type as that used to guard hallways, because there are different installation methods and widths. Get this right before you order, otherwise you'll end up ordering twice!

Lastly, I'd encourage you to order all of the gates that you will need all at one time. The reason for this is because it is often cheaper to order several gates at once to save on shipping. Also it's just less work overall than placing order after order and waiting for everything to arrive. As long as you have determined in advance your gate requirements (widths and so on) then this is the most painless way to go. I hope these few tips point you in the right direction and save you an emergency trip to the dentist!