Most injuries weren't serious. But the researchers say parents should know about precautions. That includes using bolted gates, not pressure-mounted ones, at the top of the stairs.
Researcher Lara McKenzie and colleagues at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, examined data on kids up to age 6.
The number injured on gates more than tripled over 20 years. These cases climbed from about 4 per 100,000 children in 1990 to almost 13 per 100,000 in 2010.
The study was published online Monday in the journal Academic Pediatrics.