NEVER use older, accordion-style gates with large V-shaped openings along the top edge and diamond-shaped openings in the sides that are large enough to entrap a child’s head and strangle the neck. At least nine children have been strangled to death by these accordion-style baby gates, including circular wooden enclosures, which were manufactured before 1985.
According to 2007-2009 data from CPSC Nursery Product Reports, an average of one child per year dies from gate-related injuries. From 2007 to 2013, 281,500 units were recalled, and an estimated 2,800 gate-related injuries required emergency room care to children under age five in 2011. There were no injuries related to gates in 2015, but the IKEA Patrull safety gates were recalled after causing 18 incidents.
Use the right gate in each location – pressure gates, which stay in place without mounting hardware, are inadequate at the tops of stairs. Read the packaging carefully to make sure the gate will work where you intend to use it.
A recall or a corrective action had been issued for baby gates and enclosures for various reasons including:
- Plastic parts of the gate can break off into small pieces, creating a potential choking hazard to young children. In some cases, when parts break off, the gate will no longer be secure.
- Plastic mounting hardware that attaches to the wall can crack or break, allowing gate to unlatch and give children access to restricted areas such as stairs, resulting in fall hazards.