Falling down the stairs is so common and so dangerous, if you've got a baby in your house, you ought to have safety gates to fit both the top and bottom of all the stairs inside and outside your home.
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You might need several different types. If you have turned posts, angles or other complex trim details to contend with, look for a gate or adapters with angle mounting brackets, a wood trim kit or straps to attach it firmly.
Even though they take a little longer to install, fixed gates will be more reliable than tension-mounted gates that hold to surfaces with rubber feet.
A fixed gate doesn't mean you're stuck with it forever. If you'd like to be able to get it out of the way in a hurry for an adult party, for instance, choose a model with quick-release mounting hardware that allows you to remove and replace the gate panel without detaching the hardware from the wall.
Beyond looks, you want to find safety gates that'll be impossible for a toddler to figure out but easy for adults to operate with one hand. Self-closing mechanisms are another great feature, especially in households with other children who might forget that a safety gate can only do its job if it's closed!
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For more on childproofing, consider:
Quick Tip: Choosing Child Safety Gates
Baby Safety Gates and Healthy Organic Sleeping Products