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Babyproofing Your Stairs!

Babyproofing an entire home can be an overwhelming task for many parents, especially when they find their little one suddenly on the move. For veteran parents, it’s likely common knowledge that one of the first places a little one with newly discovered locomotor skills makes a bee-line for is the stairs. The options for stair gates on the market are many, but it can still be difficult for parents to find a gate that works for their home, especially if their house features elements like a custom staircase, angled staircase, or oddly shaped banisters.

Finding a stair gate to fit tricky, hard-to-gate staircases was one part of babyproofing that Janelle Fitzpatrick, mom-inventor and founder of The Stair Barrier, hoped to take the guesswork out of. Out of necessity for her own two children and their brand new staircase in their custom built home, Janelle invented The Stair Barrier, a fabric safety gate with an innovative design that enables it to work where many gates do not.

Stair Barriers feature a unique buckle system that attaches to banisters of all shapes and sizes without drilling and a fabric construction that allows the gates to be installed on an angle, as well as roll neatly to the side when not in use. Our founder, Jen, is putting this flexibility to work keeping her family room off limits to Charlotte. She chose The Stair Barrier’s Textured Driftwood banister to banister gates to close off the two entrances to this main room in her home.

Stylish is just icing on the cake, however. More than a pretty face, Stair Barriers are rigorously safety tested to ensure they are as safe as they are attractive. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0 to 19. Approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms daily for fall-related injuries. As a key method of prevention, the CDC recommends, not surprisingly, to make the home safer, with the use of window guards, guard rails, and -- you guessed it -- stair gates.

But not all baby gates are created equal. An average of five children per day are treated in the E.R. due to baby gate-related injuries. Hard metal bars and top bars, which children love to climb are common in typical baby gates on the market, all pose the potential for injury for little ones eager to explore new territory.

Stair Barriers do not have horizontal bars. They are reinforced internally with rigid plastic struts and horizontal webbing, and rigorously tested to ensure they meet the General and Performance Requirements of ASTM F1004, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Expansion Gates and Expandable Enclosures. The internal struts and buckle system allow a taut fit that inhibits children from lifting them up and attempting to crawl under, and their lack of a top bar mean that kids have nothing to grab onto and hoist themselves over. And unlike other baby gates, through which little ones can still see the great beyond of the staircase that is off-limits to them, the opaque fabric of a Stair Barrier completely blocks the stairs from view, making the staircase an altogether less enticing place for curious little ones to try and access.

The Stair Barrier is American-made with all U.S. sourced materials, hand-crafted in Georgia with Class 1 upholstery grade fabrics. With a wide variety of fabrics to choose from, searching for the right stair gate may actually be -- dare we say -- fun!

The Stair Barrier’s 14 fabric options are offered in regular and wide widths to fit staircases 36” - 52” wide. Have a particularly unique staircase that doesn’t fit that category? Not to worry -- custom built gates are available for staircases narrower than 36” and up to 100” wide.

Babyproofing doesn’t have to be so overwhelming, innovative options like The Stair Barrier are expanding the possibilities to make every home as safe as possible for our little ones.