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Use of baby gates in childcare

There are many designs of baby gates; some are made of plastic, some are metal and have a swing door that releases to open and close them. In some cases, they are designed to be a fixed barrier rather than an open swing gate which requires the employee to remove the barrier and replace it each time they need to pass through. Taking shortcuts by lifting children over the gate instead of removing it first increases the likelihood of injury. Lifting a child up and over a barrier can lead to severe injuries such as strains, sprains, and slip and falls.

To prevent injuries we recommend the following:

• Do not lift children or step over gates

• Replace gates that do not have a pass-through, with gates that have a swinging open and closing hinge; swing gates
allow adults and children to pass through from one area to another without removing and replacing the gate

• Do not lean or sit on the gate

• Inspect gates daily to verify that they are secure and in good condition

• Gate slats should be no more than 3 inches apart

• If using pressure mounted gates, they must be removed and reinstalled before and after each use

• Never use pressure-mounted gates at the top of stairs as they could come loose and cause a severe fall

When looking to purchase or replace a baby gate, research to find the best option for your facility. Typically the gates with a swinging open and closure are no more expensive than the pressure mounted gates and are much safer and easier for workers to use.


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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