First to keep your child safe by denying them access to areas where harm may come them (such as a staircase) and second to confine the toddler to an area where they can roam and safely explore without having to chase them throughout your entire home.
As with all baby proofing products, child safety gates provide an additional element of safety.
There is no substitution for adult supervision.
Additionally, most baby proofing products, including child safety gates, are designed to be used until the child reaches approximately 2½ years of age.
There are 4 basic types of child safety gates.
1-Temporary 2-Semi-Permanent 3-Permanent 4-Specialty Temporary gates are pressure mounted gates designed to be easily put into place and easily and completely removed from the opening when not in use.
This type of gate is usually made up of two sliding panels that expand or contract to fit the opening.
A locking bar applies pressure to the sliding panels wedging them in the doorway or opening.
Advantages - This type of gate is quickly and completely removable from the opening and is easily taken along when traveling.
Disadvantages - These types of gates are the most easily dislodged and are not for use above or below a staircase.
Semi-Permanent gates are mounted using pressure as well.
The process and mechanisms used to mount these gates make them much more secure than a temporary pressure gate.
These gates work best in a wood framed doorway, and are a good solution when looking for a very secure gate when you don't want to do the drilling and mounting associated with hardware mounted gates.
Advantages - More secure than a temporary pressure gate.
There is no need to drill holes in your walls.
This gate mounts quickly and easily into place, usually with the supplied tools.
Disadvantages - These types of gates can still be dislodged making them a poor choice for the top of a staircase.
Permanent gates are installed using hardware.
You will need to drill and anchor the gate into the wall or doorway and sometimes you will need to attach specialized mounting brackets or design a mounting bracket when attaching to a staircase railing.
Advantages - This is the most secure type of gate and is the only type recommended for staircase use.
Disadvantages- Drilling and mounting into walls and doorways as well as attaching to railings can be complicated if you are not a handy person.
Handymen and professional baby proofers can easily help you get the job done.
Specialty gates are used to gate off large openings and some specialty gates are designed to prevent access to areas like fireplaces.
These gates are more often mounted with hardware rather than pressure.
As you can see, each type of gate has their advantages and disadvantages.
Knowing where the gate will be used and what you are trying to accomplish with the use of the gate will be the first steps when deciding what will work best for your needs.