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The best safety gate is secure and convenient

Almost every home with infants or young toddlers will have a pressure-mounted safety gate to wall off a kitchen, bathroom or other busy area of the house. Experts agree that safety gates are a child-proofing necessity, but they also say they're safest when used consistently by the adults in the home. Adults can open The First Years Hands Free Gate by pressing down on a pedal, but the pedal is too difficult to for a child to operate, allowing adults safe passage with full hands. The gate can be kicked closed and provides a reassuring click to signal that it has latched. Parents say that as long as you keep the gate properly tensioned, it is strong and reliable.

However, the Hands-Free Gate is not the most versatile. It is available only in white metal, and there is only one extension available, limiting its span to a maximum of 43 inches. By contrast, the KidCo Gateway and Dreambaby Swing Closed Security Gate can be extended to fit openings of up to 73.5 inches and 111 inches, respectively. The KidCo Gateway and the Dreambaby Swing Closed Security Gate both offer extra-tall models for larger toddlers and are available in white or black metal. These gates can also be mounted at the bottom of stairs with an adaptor that allows you to secure the gate to stairway spindles.

According to both consumers and experts, the KidCo Gateway and Dreambaby Swing Closed systems are strong and reliable when properly installed. The Dreambaby gate swings closed automatically, which parents say is great in households with older children who may forget to close the gate.  While all three of these gates have bidirectional doors, parents say that the Hands-Free Gate and the Gateway Gate have nice large openings, while the Swing Closed Gate is narrower.

Unlike the Hands Free Gate, the Gateway and Swing Closed gates have to be opened by hand, making The First Years Hands Free Gate a top choice for convenience and safety.

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