Baby safety gates may not always be safe, study finds

Baby safety gates: Most injuries weren't serious. But the researchers say parents should know about precautions.

By , Associated Press

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    Jessica Fannon talks to her daughter, Ella, though a mounted baby gate in her home in Grove City, Ohio. When she was just 9 months old Ella pushed through a tension-mounted gate and fell down 14 steps. A newly published study by researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital has found that the number of children treated in US emergency rooms due to gate-related injuries more than tripled since 1990.

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Baby gates meant to protect young children aren't always as safe as parents think. A new study says nearly 2,000 U.S. kids get emergency room treatment each year from injuries resulting from falling through or climbing on these gates.

Most injuries weren't serious. But the researchers say parents should know about precautions. That includes using boltedgates, not pressure-mounted ones, at the top of the stairs.

Researcher Lara McKenzie and colleagues at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, examined data on kids up to age 6.

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The number injured on gates more than tripled over 20 years. These cases climbed from about 4 per 100,000 children in 1990 to almost 13 per 100,000 in 2010.

The study was published online Monday in the journal Academic Pediatrics.

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