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www.wmfd.com - Baby gates are designed to protect children from dangers around the house, but a newly- published study shows that baby gates themselves can be a problem.

   
 
 
Study Says Baby Gate Injuires Have Nearly Quadrupled

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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Baby gates are designed to protect children from dangers around the house. But a newly-published study shows that baby gates themselves can be a problem.

The study looked at national data over 20 years and found the number of children taken to emergency rooms because of baby gate injuries have nearly quadrupled.

As a pediatric nurse and mom, Jessica Fannon knows first-hand how common injuries around the house can be. "I thought my whole house was child-proofed," she says. "I'm a nurse, I do all this, I don't think anything can happen to my child, and it did."

In an instant, Jessica's daughter pushed past a baby gate and tumbled down 14 steps. And a newly published study by Nationwide Children's Hospital shows injuries like those are becoming more common.

"Despite the voluntary standards and the recalls that we've seen for gates, we're still seeing a really significant increase in the number of injuries related to gates," says Dr. Lara McKenzie of Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Lara McKenzie led the study that determined from 1990 through 2010, more than 37,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for baby gate-related injuries. During that span, the number of injuries nearly quadrupled.

Kids under two were mostly hurt falling down stairs, while those ages two through six cut or bruised themselves climbing on gates. Despite these findings, McKenzie strongly recommends families continue to use stair gates, with proper precautions.

"Pressure mounted gates are great at the bottom of stairs or between rooms, but you don't want to use a pressure mounted gate at the top of stairs because they're too easily pushed through," McKenzie says. Which is exactly what happened to Jessica's daughter.

"Luckily, she ended up being okay," Jessica says. "They assessed her, did scans, she was totally fine. But I was very lucky."

There are currently no federally-mandated regulations for gate designs in the U.S.

Experts say if you need a gate for your baby, make sure older children don't climb over or open them.

   
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