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Safety Gates vs. Fences

by Jacqueline Thomas

Child in front of safety gate

When the time comes to childproof your house, you will face a lot of important decisions. You have many different options for making your home safe for your baby. Understanding the difference between safety gates and safety fences will help you decide which child safety items are most appropriate for your home. Remember that safety gates and fences are not mutually exclusive. You may decide to purchase both, especially if you have children of varying ages who need different safety boundaries. Use our tips to decide how to incorporate gates and fences into your child safety plan.

Safety Gates and Fences:

  1. The layout of your home will be a major factor in choosing between safety gates and fences. Safety gates are most commonly installed at the top or bottom of stairs or at the entrance to a kitchen or bathroom. These locations are great places for safety gates because they protect small children from stairs, household toxins and dangerous water hazards. Safety gates are not limited to these areas, however, and can be used in any doorway, so they are great for parents who have large homes or many areas of their home that they would like to keep children away from. Safety gates are slightly more permanent than fences, so keep this in mind when you are considering the layout of your home. Fences are more versatile as they stand alone and can be set up anywhere and even moved out into the back yard. This makes them a good choice for homes of all sizes. In addition, fences are ideal if you have unsafe areas in your home where you spend a lot of time, such as a living room with a fireplace or a large kitchen, because they allow you to safely spend time with your child while letting you relax at the same time.

  2. Your parenting preferences and lifestyle are important considerations when selecting fences and safety gates. Some parents feel that safety fences isolate children by keeping them in one place, and if you have a busy lifestyle, moving from room to room frequently, then fences can pose this problem for your child. In this case, safety gates might be a better choice, as they will allow your child to follow you into more areas of your home as they desire. On the other hand, many parents find that safety fences allow children to be with them more often because they can allow you to take your child out into the yard while you garden or down into the basement while you are folding laundry. Fences are also expandable, so you can link many fences together and create a relatively large play area for your child. They are also great for parents who travel or spend a lot of time outdoors because they allow babies to be safe anywhere.

  3. Consider your child's age when shopping for safety gates and fences. Safety gates and fences are typically installed and set up as soon baby starts crawling. When your baby is just starting to move around, both fences and safety gates will keep them from dangerous situations. As your little one grows into a toddler, however, some fences will no longer suffice because they will be light enough for a toddler to move and push down. Safety gates in this instance are helpful because they can be installed more securely and be more difficult for an older child to maneuver.

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