Safety First: 3 Precautions To Take When Planning A Nursery
When planning your infant’s nursery, there are lots of factors to consider. You’ll need to choose a color, buy furniture and bedding, pick a baby monitor, and so much more before your little one even comes home. Before you start picking a theme and painting the room a soothing color, however, stop to do some research about the hidden dangers lurking in many nurseries. Next to love, safety is one of the most important things you can offer your infant, so it’s important to stay informed.
Big Brother’s Crib
It’s very common for families to pass down cribs among siblings or from one cousin to another, but used cribs – particularly antiques – can be very dangerous. Recent regulations restrict factors like the space between crib bars, and as of 2010 one of the most common features of older cribs, a drop side rail, is banned in the United States.
If you can’t afford a new crib, be sure to check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website for information on recalls and stick to recent, used models. Or, if possible, rearrange your budget and prioritize a new crib. Used bedding, infant clothes, and toys are generally harmless, but a used crib is a risky purchase.
Most parents are careful to paint and ventilate the new nursery well before the baby is born so that they aren’t exposed to paint fumes, but paint isn’t the only chemical your infant may come into contact with. New carpets are also laden with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the same chemicals as are found in paint.
Another hidden chemical source is your child’s mattress. While it might seem smart to buy a flame retardant mattress, thinking this is the safer choice for your child, flame retardant coatings are highly toxic. Don’t worry about skipping this supposed protection though, because all mattresses still have to pass flammability tests – if it’s made it to market, then you can feel confident the mattress meets the requirements.
Blinds and curtains are a valuable feature in your infant’s room since they help you control the amount of light and can make it easier to put a restless little one to sleep. Unfortunately, the long cords attached to many household blinds are a well known strangulation risk. Though unlikely to harm a pre-mobile infant, once your child can pull themselves to standing in their crib, they risk getting their head caught in the cords. If your child’s room features these types of blinds, purchase a commercial cord cover or place the crib far from the window.
If you encounter any uncertainty while planning your infant’s room, consult your pediatrician. Pediatricians are well informed about current child safety practices and will be happy to help you create a safe space as you prepare to bring your newborn home.