- 1 What Are Retractable Baby Gates?
- 2 How are they different to other baby safety gate options?
- 3 Benefits of Retractable Baby Gates
- 4 Testing Their Safety
- 5 Are Retractable Baby Gates Safer?
- 6 Where Can You Put Baby Gates?
- 7 What’s So Great About Perma Child Safety Gates?
When I first became a mum, baby gates were the furthest thing from my mind. There is so much to think about in those early days. Your brain is in the eat, feed, sleep cycle. Plus, it’s hard to look beyond those newborn snuggles to a time when your baby will be on the move and getting into everything around your home. But then my daughter did get that little bit older, and suddenly everything in our small three-bedroom apartment turned into a hazard.
There was no door to our kitchen, so cupboards and drawers were there for the taking. Along with stocked up chemicals, knives, scissors and so much more. A big fat no. Not only this, but we were planning on moving within the year into our family home, which had fabulous wooden stairs with gaps between them. They were like little baby death traps and we knew we would need something to block them off. Straight away I knew it was time to baby proof, and one of the first things I looked into were baby gates – the perfect way to section off dangerous areas of your home. After looking into the different types on the market, I fell in love with the idea of retractable baby gates. But this brought a whole new question to light: are retractable baby gates safe?
What Are Retractable Baby Gates?
Let’s face it, when it comes to babyproofing, we still want our home to look like our home. By that, I mean that we don’t want to wrap everything up in bubble wrap and tie a big bow on it, just to ensure our children’s safety (not saying I wouldn’t go that far if it was necessary though!).
This is why I decided to look into a baby safety gate, and immediately loved the idea of the retractable baby gate. It seemed easy to use, but also looked stylish, which was a big plus for me. When it’s not needed, it simply retracts back into the wall. So when your baby is sleeping, you can freely move around your own home without tripping over the gate yourself. A big win!
How are they different to other baby safety gate options?
I did a lot of research when it came to choosing a baby gate for our apartment. I wanted to make sure I got the best option to suit our family, which would also grow with us over time. While I had just one child, I knew I wanted more, so I needed gates that would last from baby to preschooler years for multiple children.
The traditional baby gate (which is the one I was most familiar with), is made of metal. There is a gate in the middle which can be opened and closed to let you through. It normally has some safety lock feature so little people can’t do it on their own.
Honestly, it looks a bit like a baby jail, with bars all the way along! I had used them before as a nanny, and while they did their job, they weren’t always successful at it. We had little legs getting stuck between the bars – I mean, who wouldn’t try and see if they could fit through? Plus, once the kids reached climbing age, they used the bars to give themselves a bit of leverage to get over the top.
On the other hand, the retractable baby gates are made from mesh. They have an internal spring in them, which automatically pulls that mesh back in once the other side has been released. This means you pull it out and lock it in place when it is needed. To get through, simply release it. This also gives you the option of leaving it open when kids aren’t around. Especially if they are sleeping or in their high chair, making life that little bit simpler for you.
Benefits of Retractable Baby Gates
There are plenty of benefits that come with retractable baby gates. Here are just some of them:
You can purchase twin pack retractable gates, which allow you to block off both entrances of staircases. No little people climbing up and none coming down unless you are right by their side. These twin gates can be used both indoors and outdoors, which is extra handy. We have some nasty stone stairs in our backyard that I want to keep my youngest away from for as long as possible. The twin packs let you section off an area of the yard, making it a perfect place to play.
Often, when you are going through a baby gate you have a little one at your feet and in your arms. You are also quite possibly loaded up with plenty of other baby objects too. This can make operating a traditional baby gate extremely tricky. The retractable baby gate just needs one hand to release and it retracts back in on its own, making it nice and easy for you to walk through.
This is an important one, especially for pet owners. For those with animals around, such as cats and dogs, it is a big change putting in gates. It means your pets suddenly can’t access part of your home (your cats should be fine!). This means they may try and test the gates a bit, whether it is bumping or clawing at it to open. In fact, toddlers also go through this phase. Once they are older enough, they start to see whether they can get past the gates themselves. Most gates are suitable up to the age of 24 months. This is why you need something safe and durable.
This is a big plus for me. I have seen just how much little fingers love getting their hands onto the bars of traditional baby gates. Especially trying to shake them or climb over them. Retractable baby gates don’t provide them with this option, which means they are much safer to use and offer a lot more peace of mind.
Stay Up Permanently
When your child turns two, it is advised that baby gates be taken down, as this is the age they start trying to climb them and accidents can occur. This can be a pain, especially if there are siblings who will need them again in the near future. With retractable gates, you can leave them mounted and simply leave the gate open when it’s not needed. It is easy to get in and out of and completely out of the way until it is needed again.
Retractable baby gates are an extremely safe option for your home, we will go more into this below.
Testing Their Safety
Now we know just how many amazing benefits there are with retractable baby gates, the big question comes back to one of safety.
And it’s no wonder that safety is something on every parents’ mind. According to a study published in Academic Pediatrics, from 1990 through 2010, emergency departments in the United States treated an estimated 37,673 children younger than seven years of age for baby gate-related injuries.
These injuries were predominantly caused by baby gates being left open or collapsing. It is advised to only use a mounted gate at the top of the stairs. A pressure mounted gate is a preferred option when it comes to rental places and ‘not putting holes in walls’. However, they won’t do the job against a strong-willed child and the consequences are severe. The retractable gates from Perma Child Safety come with different methods to mount them securely to your wall, making them so safe for your little one.
Cuts and bruises were also seen in emergency rooms with kids trying to climb the gates. Once again, with retractable gates, there are no bars for fingers to grab onto and pull themselves up on, which makes them a much safer option and discourages climbing.
Are Retractable Baby Gates Safer?
When you are blocking off important entrances, such as stairs, you need to know your baby gates are going to do their job. After all, putting it quite bluntly, your child’s life is at risk. A faulty baby gate can mean the difference between keeping them safely out of harm’s way or sending them straight into it.
I am not going to lie, but the words ‘mesh’ and ‘baby gate’ in the same sentence did at first make my whole body cringe. Surely a baby could get through that in no time? But it only takes a little research to realize that the Perma Retractable Baby Gates are made from a strong mesh that is scratch resistant and extremely sturdy. Unlike the traditional baby gates that kids can hold onto the bars and attempt to shake, there is nothing for them to grab onto. Just a nice, strong barrier preventing them from going someone where they shouldn’t.
If mounted properly, a retractable gate is not only more convenient for your family, but they make for a much safer option.
Installing Baby Gates
One big part of baby gate safety comes down to whether they are installed correctly or not. Parents can often head out and purchase safety gates secondhand without instructions and simply put them up on their own.
This is not a great way to go about things, as it can lead to some serious consequences. If you do go for the secondhand option, always be sure to go online and download the instructions before mounting them. You only have to do it once. A better option is to purchase them new.
Just like a car seat, you want to be sure it hasn’t been in an accident, so it is perfectly safe for your child. Same goes for baby gates. You want to make sure they haven’t been knocked and banged too many times by older kids before being passed onto you. It is often hard to tell if they have been damaged, which can make them unsafe for your little one.
Here are some ways to ensure your retractable baby gate is installed properly:
- Follow instructions: the first and most obvious piece of advice we can give, make sure you have read and reread the instructions before putting the baby gates in place.
- Mount it: depending on where your baby gate is going, you will need to mount it differently. The Perma baby gates come with different options, so you won’t run into any problems. You can choose from a wall mount, which involves drilling holes into the timber to ensure it stays in place. There is also a brick or concrete mount, which once again involves screwing, but uses wall plugs to get it into place. Remember: pressure mounting just won’t do the job if you are looking to block off stairs. Always mount to the actual wall.
- Use wall spacers: if there is a gap, don’t ignore it. Spacers are included with the Perma safety gates and allow you to offset a gap and make it as safe as possible.
Finally, if you are having any issues with installation, or just don’t feel up to the task, call in a professional. There are people who do this for a living and can ensure your gate is installed correctly. Once again, if it is going to save your child’s life, calling in an expert is never a bad idea.
Where Can You Put Baby Gates?
Baby proofing your home isn’t something many parents think about when they bring home their soft, squishy newborn. But before you know it, your little ones will be up and moving, and it can often send parents into panic mode.
Before you go ahead and wrap the place up in bubble wrap, here are some important areas you can think about blocking off with a baby safety gate:
- Kitchen and laundry: these are often the two most dangerous rooms in the home, so you want to make sure they are secured off from little hands.
- Hallways: it can be hard to keep track of what is in each room in your home, and to make sure doors are always kept closed. This is why using Perma Child Safety retractable baby gate is a great idea to block off hallways. This essentially turns one part of your home into a giant playpen for your child, so you don’t have to worry about everything else.
- Stairs: a no brainer, if you have stairs, make sure they aren’t accessible, both from the top and the bottom.
- Bathrooms: another great place for little bubs to get up to trouble. While keeping the door shut is the best option, adding a baby safety gate can provide that extra piece of mind.
If you are still worried, there are other measures you can put into place:
- Keep all chemicals in the garage: take them out of the kitchen and bathroom and store them behind a locked door in the garage.
- Clean kitchen drawers: go through them and make sure all sharp objects are in the higher drawers that can’t be reached.
- Secure all furniture: make sure all furniture is secured to the wall, so that if kids do decide to climb, there isn’t the risk of it falling on them.
What’s So Great About Perma Child Safety Gates?
Perma Child Safety safeguards your home to protect your child from potential hazards and accessing certain areas in your home. They are the best retractable baby gate product and come with all the safety features mentioned above, along with detailed instructions to ensure they are installed correctly.
We now have Perma retractable gates at the top and the bottom of the stairs in our new home and they are a lifesaver. Those stairs make my heart leap every time I walk up and down them, and I now have three children in total. They have been properly installed and mounted, and I have peace of mind that they are completely safe for my kids. Plus, without the bars for little hands to grab onto, there is no shaking or attempts to climb them to get onto the other side.