CHILDREN’S safety stair gates on sale at retailers such as Asda, Argos, Amazon, and Mothercare have failed safety tests by Which? and could be “a serious risk for kids.”
Eight out of 12 stair gates tested by the consumer group failed the tests meaning toddlers could easily knock them out of place, and potentially fall down the stairs.
It follows a Which? investigation in October which found that three out of 10 stair gates failed the tests.
One stair gate, the Mothercare Wooden Wall Fix, failed the two safety tests it was put through, and has now been withdrawn from sale.
Consumer group Which? tested them using the “impact resistance” method, which forms part of the EU safety standard for safety gates.
It imitates the actions of a child shoving or kicking the gate by hitting a 10kg weight against different points of the gate.
The Which? investigation found that Mothercare’s gate and the Cuggl Wooden Extending gate on sale at Argos for £23.99 could both withstand just one impact before they failed.
While the £25.99 Cuggl Auto Close gate failed after only two impacts.
It also used a “fatigue test”, which is designed to imitate the actions of a child shaking and rattling the gate over time.
It involves a mechanical arm being clamped to the top of the gate and it being pulled back and forth 10,000 times.
During this test, it took just 417 attempts before the Lindam Sure Shut Orto, on sale at Amazon, Argos, Asda and Dunelm from £21.49, failed.
Dunelm has stopped selling the product following the investigation.
It took 1,456 shakes for Dreambaby Chelsea, on sale at Argos and Amazon from £34.99, to fail and 2,134 attempts for BabyDan Perfect Close, on sale at Amazon for £44.99.
The Mothercare Wooden Wall Fix failed after 6,738 attempts, while the BabyDan Premier True Pressure gate, on sale at Argos, Dunelm and John Lewis from £28, failed after 6,600 attempts.
Some of the pressure-fit stair gates that failed the tests have the option of being secured to the wall using screws as well as sticky adhesive pads.
When Which? tested the BabyDan Perfect Close, Dreambaby Chelsea and Dreambaby Liberty with the wall cups screwed into the walls, rather than just the adhesive pads, the gates passed the fatigue test.
These gates are on sale at retailers including Amazon, Argos, Asda and Homebase from £19.79.
Which? is now urging parents with these safety gates to secure theirs in this way if possible, and to stop using it if not.
It’s also reported the findings to Trading Standards and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) who decide whether or not to issue a recall on the products.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? 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.
“Manufacturers must take these results seriously and recall the products if they cannot guarantee their safety.”
Spokespeople from Dreambaby, Argos, which own Cuggl, Mothercare, Dunelm, and BabyDan stressed that safety was their highest priority and that they independently test products.
They also added that they meet all relevant safety standards.
A Dreambaby spokesperson added: “We have been producing products to safeguard children for 35 years, child safety is our highest priority.”
Argos said: “No issues with these products have been identified but we are investigating these results with our supplier.”
Mothercare has removed its Wooden Wall Fix stair gate from sale to conduct further testing.
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While Dunelm has removed Lindam Sure Shut Orto and BabyDan Premier True Pressure from sale while it conducts an investigation.
Homebase declined to comment but confirmed all Dreambaby gates are also being removed from sale while the issues raised by Which? are being investigated.
Munchkin, the company that owns Lindam, told Which? that the Lindam stair gate complies with all applicable standards and that it hasn’t encountered any complaints of the gate dislodging while in use.
The Sun has also contacted Asda, Amazon and John Lewis.
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