'Injury risk': CHOICE reveals almost half of baby gates fail safety tests

Almost half of the gates tested failed the CHOICE safety standards
Almost half of the gates tested failed the CHOICE safety standards  Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Keeping your baby safe is an absolute priority for any parent, so when it comes to baby proofing the house, a baby gate is a great option.

While you may think installing the gate ensures automatic safety, however in a test carried out by CHOICE recently, almost half of the baby gates tested failed their safety standards.

The experts at CHOICE ranked 14 baby gates based on their safety and how easy they are to use. At the moment, there's no Australia safety standard for baby gates, so CHOICE made their own, basing it off US and European standards.

Out of the 14 gates tested by CHOICE, a six failed the safety tests, with some gates failing to even stay closed or didn't close properly.

Almost half of the gates tested failed the CHOICE safety standards Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The report detailed what the CHOICE team were looking out for when they were testing products, including:

  • Finger entrapment: a child's finger could get caught in the gate.
  • Limb entrapment: a child's arm, leg, head or neck could get caught in the gate.
  • Snag projection: the gate has a component that has the potential to snag or catch onto a child's clothing, creating a potential strangulation hazard.
  • Inadequate secureness: the gate may be left in an insecure position, or appear to be locked when it's not.
  • Sharp edges: some components of the gate have sharp edges that could cause an injury.

Amy Pereira, the product safety campaigner for CHOICE said they have been calling for the Australian Government to introduce a law that requires manufacturers to make sure the products are safe

"In the absence of this important law, we rely on Standards, but what happens in the absence of those?" she says, saying without any guarantee of safety, "we can only hope that the product will not harm our family." 

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CHOICE experts also suggested thinking about how having a baby gate in the home will affect you, and not only think about the safety of your child, but of you and anyone else in the home. They suggest looking at if it is a tripping hazard, how easy is it to open and close (and do you need help or two hands to do so) and how difficult it is to assemble. 

The six baby gates below failed the CHOICE safety standard tests

Regalo Easy Step Metal Walk-Through Safety Gate 1160DS
Safety score: 20%
CHOICE Expert Rating: 32%
Serious failures: snag projection (strangulation hazard), limb entrapment hazard

Perma Child Safety Retractable Gate 754
Safety score: 40%
CHOICE Expert Rating: 45%
Serious failure: lack of secureness if both hooks are not properly engaged

Dreambaby Chelsea Xtra-Wide Hallway Auto-Close Security Gate F170N
Safety score: 40%
CHOICE Expert Rating: 49%
Serious failure: limb entrapment hazard

Dreambaby Chelsea Auto-Close Security Gate F160N
Safety score: 40%
CHOICE Expert Rating: 49%
Serious failure: limb entrapment hazard

Infasecure Deluxe Safety Gate DG100
Safety score: 40%
CHOICE Expert Rating: 51%
Serious failure: limb entrapment hazard

4Baby Auto-Close Safety Gate F2049

4Baby Auto-Close Safety Gate F2049 Photo: CHOICE

4Baby Auto-Close Safety Gate F2049
Safety score: 40%
CHOICE Expert Rating: 51%
Serious failure: snag projection (strangulation hazard)

To have a look at the full list of gates and their rating, visit the CHOICE website.