The number of children treated in emergency rooms for injuries caused by baby gates has nearly quadrupled since 1990, leading researchers to warn parents and caregivers about the dangers of using these gates.

Many parents and caregivers use baby gates to keep babies from dangerous situations, including falling down stairs. Now, a new study, conducted by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, has found gates can lead to injury if used incorrectly.

According to the study, published in Academic Pediatrics, from 1990 through 2010, emergency departments in the United States treated an estimated 37,673 children younger than seven years of age for baby gate-related injuries. That is an average of 1,794 per year, or about five injured children per day.

The researchers found that more than 60 percent of the children injured were younger than two years old, and they were most often injured by falls down stairs after a gate collapsed or when it was left open. Injuries caused by these accidents lead to soft-tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains, and traumatic brain injuries, said the researchers.

The most common types of gate-related injuries were bumps and bruises (33 percent) and cuts and lacerations (30 percent). More than 16 percent were traumatic brain injuries.

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