Shopping for baby gates is relatively low on the priority list for new or expecting parents, owing to the fact that they are generally not required for several months following the birth of a child. However, as many new parents learn, when it comes to selecting any product related to their children, there are an overwhelming number of options available.
Baby gates are certified through voluntary testing by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). It is surprising for many parents to learn that many baby related products do not actually undergo stringent levels of mandatory testing. The voluntary nature of the testing process leads to many large manufacturers unilaterally opting out of the process. Unfortunately, enacting an item recall in the event of a catastrophic failure is often more economically advantageous than redoing a product that fails to meet safety standards. A sticker bearing the JPMA mark of approval ensures that the selected item has undergone appropriate testing.
Any baby gate that is going to be positioned at the top of a staircase, no matter how seemingly small the staircase, should be more stringently examined than a traditional entryway based gate. The selected baby gate should have a stronger mounting system than a basic pressure mounted system, as well as a mechanism that only allows the gate to open in a single direction. Additionally, the gate should not have a bottom mounted trip; this can create a tremendous hazard for both parent and child.
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