|Children's Safety Tips for the Bedroom
A child's safety should be every parent's top priority, hands down. From infancy all the way through college, parents can't help but worry about the well-being of their children - no matter how far away they may be. While it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure your child's safety the older he or she gets, worrying is totally natural. For parents of young children, making sure that the home is a safe environment is very important. As parents of infants, you're probably well aware of the various "baby-proofing" precautions that you need to take - everything from covering all of the outlets to padding those hard corners. But what can you do to protect your child as he or she gets older? Here are some tips for making your child's bedroom a safe haven - giving you as parents, peace of mind.
Sleeping Soundly - Bed Safety:
Your child's bedroom should be a place for sleeping, playing and being a kid. By ensuring that it's completely safe, you eliminate unnecessary worry and stress from your life while creating a safe environment for your child.
One would think that a bed is safe, considering that it's used predominantly for sleeping - but that would be an incorrect assumption. There are safety precautions that you, as parents should take when purchasing and setting up your child's bed.
- Toddler Beds: When it comes to toddler beds you need to make sure and install bed rails onto the sides of the bed. Bed rails will help to ensure that your child doesn't roll out of bed in the night. Tossing and turning is just part of a normal sleep cycle, bed rails add that extra bit of security. While most toddler beds include rails, they can be purchased separately. It's advisable that you visit your bed's manufacturer online to see if they make any rails specifically for your bed or if they have any brand recommendations. KidsPriorityOne.org recommends that you place a bed a minimum of 2 feet from windows, heating vents, radiators, wall lamps, drapery or window-blind cords.
- Bunk Beds: Bunk beds and loft beds are a lot of fun for young children but there are safety precautions that you absolutely need to take. KidsPriorityZone.org recommends that you never allow any child under the age of 6 to sleep on the top bunk. Even if your bunk bed is placed up against a wall, it's important for the top bunk to have rails on both sides as well as at both ends. On the bottom bunk, just a rail against the wall is necessary. Check to see if the rails extend at least 5 inches above the mattress, as this is ideal. The mattress needs to fit firmly in the bed frame. To ensure a proper fit, buy the mattress at the same time that you purchase the bunk bed, or at least take precise measurements. Any sort of gap between the bed frame and the mattress could cause suffocation.
- Mattresses and Bedding: Most toddler beds are designed for a standard crib mattress, while most bunk beds use twin-sized mattresses. Whatever kind of kids' bed you have, you need to measure your space to ensure the best possible fit. Organic mattresses are a good option, as they are made from natural, non-toxic materials - however these mattresses tend to be a bit on the pricey side. At the very least, purchasing an organic mattress protector is a good idea. Organic kids' bedding is a great idea, considering how close the bedding will be to your child's face - however this too can be a bit more expensive. purchase bedding that's machine washable and made out of 100% cotton or other natural fibers - this will be your safest bet and the most comfortable! It's a good idea to avoid electric blankets for any young child.
Breathing Deeply - Painting Your Childs Room:
When painting your child's bedroom, it's important to consider the kind of paint that you are using. Paints, stains and varnishes all release low level toxic emissions into the room- emissions that are continually released well after the paint has dried! These Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are in most paints today however new low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes are now available which make breathing much safer. These paints are durable, cost-effective and available in the same fun colors that standard paints come in. Many of these new Low and zero-VOC paints are water-based, for easy cleanup and they feature little or no hazardous fumes. Low odor during both application and once the paint has dried. Read the labels of the paints you are considering, as low and zero-VOC paints should be clearly marked.
Exercise Common Sense:
Just because your child has moved out of the crib and into a "real bed," doesn't mean all of the baby-proofing safety measures you installed should come down. For instance, keeping in all of those outlet protectors is definitely a good idea. Curious fingers still like to explore and you don't want to risk your child injuring him or herself. It's also a good idea to cover the wastebasket in the bedroom and never using it to discard any potentially harmful items like rubber bands, latex balloons or anything sharp. Medications should not be kept in the child's room, nor should any cleaning supplies. Basically - anything that's potentially harmful to your child - you want out of their reach. This is where exercising common sense comes into play.