Driveway gates offer you a sense of protection and privacy around your home. Designed to fit alongside your existing fence, these gates are both functional and aesthetically appealing. Even with all the convenience these gates offer, they can also pose a serious safety risk for small children. Knowing what the dangers are and familiarizing yourself with ways to keep your children safe is important.
Driveway gates pose a number of safety concerns for smaller children, beginning with their design. Unless you choose a wood gate style, your driveway gate will probably be designed with several pickets, or rods, that run along the length of your gate. Depending on the spacing of these rods, a small child might be able to get one of their fingers in between two of the poles and get it stuck. It's best to look for gates that have wide spaces between the pickets to avoid this.
Another concern is the gate opening or closing when a child is in the path of the gate. If a child were to be in the path of the gate when it was operational, this could cause a serious injury. It's best to look for gate options that have an automatic shut-off or photo sensor feature that can detect when an object is in the path of the gate, causing it to stop.
Install A Gate Guard
Even when your driveway gate is not operational, it's still important to protect your children. Consider installing a gate guard near your driveway gate. Gate guards are retractable barriers made of a mesh-like material. These gate guards are safe because they prevent your children from getting close to the gate. On each end of the mesh material are two poles that can be inserted into the ground.
Install one of the guard poles at least one foot away from the interior side of your driveway gate. When you want to use the guard, simply extend the guard and insert the other pole into the ground. Although you won't be able to operate the gate when the guard is extended, your children won't be able to get close to the gate, keeping them safe. Measure the width of your gate to determine what size guard you need to purchase.
Establish A No-play Zone
When it comes to your child's safety, establishing the area around the gate as a no-play zone is one of the best things you can do. If you have space, limit your children to playing in the back of your home or another area. It might even be helpful to fence in the area that will serve as their play zone. This way, you can still allow your children to go outside and enjoy the yard without fear of them getting near the driveway gate.
Your child's safety begins with you. Make certain you are doing your part to keep your child safe around your driveway gate.