Safety is the number one concern for a new parent. But many new and used products for the nursery have been deemed unsafe and subject to safety recalls. Consider the safety of these items as you create a nurturing environment for your child.
Baby Crib Safety Recommendations
A childproof nursery starts with having a safe crib. The crib should be sturdy with no sharp edges, missing or loose parts or peeling paint. Best of all, the crib should satisfy the latest safety standards of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. The following are the main areas that affect safety:
- Slats (no missing/broken slats spaced more than 2 3/8 inchesapart). Check for splinters or similar dangers, and make sure the baby cannot get trapped or fall out.
- The end panels should not have any cutouts where the baby can trap his head.
- The height of the mattress from the top of the crib should not allow the baby to fall out. There should not be enough room between mattress and crib for the baby to be trapped.
- There should be no corner posts for the baby’s clothing to catch on.
- Ideally, your crib should not have a drop side as these have been deemed dangerous. Drop sides can come loose or be released accidentally by the child.
- Bedding should fit the mattress properly so that it cannot be worked loose and suffocate the infant. Bumper pads and sleep positioners are not recommended anymore for safety reasons.
The Smaller the Object – The Bigger the Concern
Cords, ribbons, buttons and poppers that can work themselves loose and become choking hazards or means of strangulation should be avoided throughout the nursery. Check the baby’s sleepwear, bedding, nursery mobiles and toys, as well as hanging cords from blinds and other furniture near the crib.
Choose other nursery furniture which has no sharp or pointed edges or loose screws etc. Keep prying hands out of drawers and cabinets with special locks, while securing electrical outlets with covers. Keep light fixtures and electrical cords out of the way.
Changing Tables: It’s How You Use Them
Fenced sides and a safety strap are a good idea as babies will be able to turn and take you by surprise by the time they are a few months old. Keep all creams, powder and other changing items out of your baby’s reach and never leave the baby unattended.
Walls and Floors Should Be Easily Cleaned
The best nursery walls and floors are easy to wipe clean. Leaded paint on the walls of your nursery or on older cribs presents a poisoning hazard and should be removed. Consider a smooth washable floor instead of wall to wall carpeting which can gather dust and dirt. Rugs should have non-slip backings, while shag pile and thick bushy carpets are best avoided.
Falls Can Occur Throughout Your Home
Protect your child from any falls with window guards and stair gates. While being sturdy enough to prevent a fall, they should be easily removable in case of a fire. In New York City it is actually illegal not have approved window guards if you have children under 11 years old in the home.
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