UK

Eight child stair gate models fail Which? safety tests

A child holding on to a stair gate Image copyright Getty Images

Parents have been warned to stop using eight child stair gates being sold in the UK, by a consumer group which says they failed its safety tests.

Which? tested 12 gates and said eight failed to meet EU safety standards.

Two of the tests are designed to establish the risk of the gates being dislodged by children rattling, shoving or kicking them.

One stair gate, the Mothercare Wooden Wall Fix, failed both of those tests and has since been withdrawn from sale.

For the "impact resistance test", the products were hit by a 10kg (22lbs) weight - roughly the average weight of a 15-month-old boy. Any gate that moved more than 2.5cm (1in) from its starting point failed the test.

The Mothercare gate, along with the Cuggl Wooden Extending gate, withstood just one impact before failing. The Cuggl Auto Close failed after just two impacts.

Mothercare said the gate had been removed from sale "as a precaution" while it conducted further investigations but it complied with "the required safety regulations".

Image copyright Which?
Image caption The Mothercare Wooden Wall Fix gate has been withdrawn from sale after failing Which?'s tests

Cuggl said in a statement: "No issues with these products have been identified but we are investigating these results with our supplier."

The 12 products were also put through the "fatigue test" which involved a mechanical arm being clamped to the top of the gate and pulling it back and forth 10,000 times - designed to mimic the actions of a toddler shaking and rattling the gate over time.

The Mothercare Wooden Wall Fix also failed this Which? test (after 6,738 attempts), as did the Lindam Sure Shut Orto (417), the Dreambaby Chelsea (1,456), the Dreambaby Liberty (2,727), the BabyDan Perfect Close (2,134), and the BabyDan Premier True Pressure (6,600).

However, Which? found that the BabyDan Perfect Close and the two Dreambaby gates both passed the test when they were secured to the wall using screws as well as adhesive pads.

People with these safety gates should secure theirs in this way if possible, according to the watchdog, or stop using them.

'Unacceptable risk'

Which? said parents should immediately stop using all of the other stair gates that failed its testing, adding that they should also be withdrawn from sale.

It is the second time in less than a year that Which? has discovered safety issues with stair gates - three others failed the fatigue test in October 2018.

Natalie Hitchins, Which?'s head of home products and services, said: "It's deeply concerning that so many stair gates have failed our testing.

"The safety of children should be the number one priority, but too many are being put at an unacceptable level of risk."

Dreambaby said it disputed Which?'s findings and "considers them invalid".

Munchkin, the company that owns Lindam, said it was not aware of any evidence supporting the allegations but would continue to monitor its products.

BabyDan said all its safety gates complied with the relevant safety standards.

Which? said it had reported its findings to Trading Standards and the Office for Product Safety and Standards.

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