Background: The aim of this study was to assess demographic correlates of the presence and use of stair gates in homes with toddlers. Methods: In 2004, self-administered questionnaires were mailed to 2470 parents with toddlers living in both urban and rural areas (response rate 70.1%). The questionnaires were sent by the youth healthcare providers that the parents visited regarding their toddler. Results: In total, 83% of the parents reported to have at least one stair gate installed; however, 50% of these parents reported that they did not always close the stair gate. Households with a non-Dutch ethnic mother, one child, a female child, a young child or a child who cannot crawl, were less likely to have a stair gate. Households with one child, a toddler who cannot walk, and a mother with a higher educational level were less likely to use the gate adequately. Conclusions: This study shows that parents of toddlers often report to have a stair gate; however, in homes with a gate the parents do not necessarily use the gate adequately. Different demographic characteristics were shown to be correlated with both having a stair gate and the use of a stair gate.

Falls, Pre-school children, Stair gate, Unintentional injury,
Accident Analysis & Prevention
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Beirens, T.M.J, Brug, J, van Beeck, E.F, Dekker, R, Juttmann, R.E, & Raat, H. (2007). Presence and use of stair gates in homes with toddlers (11-18 months old). Accident Analysis & Prevention, 39(5), 964–968. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2007.01.001