Baby Gate–Related Injuries Among Children in the United States, 1990–2010

Published:February 18, 2014DOI:



      Baby gates are one of the most widely used home safety products to protect children from home hazards. The objective was to describe the epidemiology of baby gate and barrier-associated injuries among children. It was hypothesized that injuries experienced by children ages ≤2 years and those >2 years were significantly different as a result of differences in gate interactions.


      A retrospective analysis was conducted by using nationally representative data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. A total of 1188 actual cases were reviewed and national estimates generated.


      An estimated 37,673 children were treated in emergency departments for injuries associated with gates, yielding an average of 1794 cases annually. The incidence of gate-related injuries increased significantly from 3.9 per 100,000 children in 1990 to 12.5 per 100,000 children in 2010 (P < .001). Patients were primarily boys (61.0%) and were <2 years of age (60.4%). Patients <2 years of age were most often injured by falls down stairs (odds ratio 6.72; 95% confidence interval 6.32–7.16) after the collapse of the gate. Patients aged 2 to 6 were most often injured by contact with the gate (odds ratio 2.03; 95% confidence interval 1.95–2.12), resulting in open wounds (55.4%) and soft-tissue injuries (24.2%).


      Given the clear dichotomy between injury characteristics of patients aged <2 years and patients aged 2 to 6 years of age, as well as the prevalence of preventable injuries, greater efforts are needed to promote proper usage, ensure safety in product design, and increase awareness of age-related recommendations for use of gates.


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