Baby Gates for Stairs: 5 Safety Tips to Prevent Injuries

Learn why a high-quality baby gate will give parents peace-of-mind when children are near stairways.

4926 Arched Auto-Close Gate
Arched Auto-Close Gate
Photo credit: Ryan Schmidt

Once your baby starts to crawl and move about the house, keeping your baby safe while they explore is a top priority as a parent. One of the most challenging locations in the home can be a stairway.

While stairs may look fun for babies and toddlers, they can quickly lead to a tumble or accident. Almost 100,000 children are injured by falling down the stairs each year, according to CBS News. Never fear, there are many ways you can prevent your child from falling down the stairs until they are old enough to navigate them safely. The most reliable and common way to keep your baby safe around stairs is to install a baby gate.

Safety Tip #1:  Hardware-Mounted is Safest

Hardware-mounted gates are the safest solution for the tops of stairs. These gates offer more safety and security since they require permanent hardware and screws to be installed into a solid door-frame, wood banister or wall stud. A gate at the top of the stairs that isn’t hardware-mounted creates the risk of being pushed over by a child, causing an injury.  When installing a gate at the top of the stairs, always make sure the gate swings toward the landing and not out over the stairs.

The Light the Way Gate can be hardware-mounted at the top of the stairs and has a light feature that will turn on when it’s dark, making it easier for you to see and open the gate. The handy swing stop at the bottom of the gate ensures that the gate won’t swing out over the stairs. Parents will also love the auto-close feature that closes the gate behind you.

4957 Light the Way Gate
Light the Way Gate
Photo credit: Rochelle Anderson

Safety Tip #2: Install Into a Solid Surface 

Always make sure you are installing stairway gates into solid surfaces such as wood. Mounting into drywall alone is not recommended. As previously mentioned, a wood door frame or stud in a wall is ideal. Some wall and/or woodwork touch-up may be needed when the gate is eventually removed. A little spackle or wood putty followed by your stain or paint color will get your surface back to its prior pre-gate condition. 

Safety Tip #3: No Threshold = No Tripping

Finding a safety gate with no threshold (bottom bar) even further minimizes your chances of a stairway fall. The Tall Easy Swing & Lock Gate is another hardware-mounted gate option that swings open with no threshold to step over. This gate expands out to 47.8 inches, accommodating most wide stairways. It also features a stopping mechanism which will not allow this gate to swing out over the stairs (which is recommended for safety). For added security, this gate is an extra-tall 36 inches.

4972 Tall Easy Swing & Lock Gate
Tall Easy Swing & Lock Gate
Photo credit: Alexandra Jennings

Another budget-friendly option is the Supergate Ergo. This gate can work as an instant pressure-mounted gate for in between doorways and hallways, but also comes with hardware to mount as a swinging gate for the top of stairs. Plus, it is proudly made is USA at our Wisconsin manufacturing facility.

8718 Supergate Ergo Sand
Supergate Ergo Sand
Photo credit: Stephanie Pollock

Safety Tip #4: JPMA Seal of Approval

When shopping for a new gate, always select one that displays the JPMA Certification Seal. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is an association that has developed a stringent safety certification program for juvenile products in today’s marketplace. JPMA certification assures you that the products meet or exceed all of the applicable U.S. Federal Laws and voluntary ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) Standards. These standards outline safety and performance requirements, including but not limited to: strength of the materials, minimum height, size of the bar or slat openings, and the security of the latch.

The certification program requires testing and annual verification by independent third-party labs. To learn more about JPMA and all of the juvenile products it certifies, you can visit its website at www.jpma.org. All Toddleroo by North States® gates and play yards are certified by the JPMA.

Safety Tip #5: Parent Supervision and Gate Maintenance

While safety gates can prevent accidents, vigilant parent supervision is always the best bet! We recommend installing gates even prior to your baby becoming mobile, so that you and baby get accustomed to seeing and using them. You’ll also want to check your gates often to make sure they are still mounted correctly and securely. Adjust and tighten the hardware as needed to ensure proper installation and peace-of-mind that you are keeping your family safe.

While safety is our first priority, Toddleroo by North States gates are thoughtfully designed in a wide variety of colors and materials, so they are sure to complement your home décor style. They are also available in different heights and widths to accommodate a multitude of stairways and openings. If you have further questions about which gate is right for you, read our Gate Basics or contact our friendly customer service team for assistance at (763)486-1754 or customerservice@northstatesind.com.