5 Simple Ways to Make Sure Your Baby's Nursery Is Safe

You may think that your baby's nursery is the safest room in the house, but there are still many common overlooked dangers, or potential dangers, that may be lurking. Here are a few simple ways to check for safety in your baby's room. 

Say No To Crib Bumpers

baby crib
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Crib bumpers can be tempting to use. It seems like they are a good way to prevent your little one from hitting her head or to stop your baby from slipping an arm or leg through the crib, but the American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to just say no to crib bumpers. 

Even the newer, "breathable" crib bumpers made of mesh are simply just too risky for babies to use. These types of crib bumpers still place your baby at risk for rolling over and get his or her face stuck up against the crib bumper, which can cause suffocation. 

Secure All Dressers

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This is a commonly overlooked danger, but it's an important one. The Consumer Product Safety Commission explains that one child dies every two weeks as a result of tip-over accidents. A curious, climbing baby can easily try to scale a dresser and have the entire thing fall over on him, trapping him or causing serious injury. Especially if the baby is able to open drawers or if you are hastily putting laundry away and accidentally leave a drawer open, the risk of the dresser—particularly if the dresser is large in size and heavy—is great. 

You should also make sure other large furniture items in the home are secured, such as changing tables that have drawers and TV stands. You can safely and easily secure these items to the wall using a standard kit you can purchase at any baby goods, home goods, or online store such as Amazon. 

Don't Forget The Fan

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While placing a fan in your baby's room can help reduce the risk of SIDS, a fan in the nursery can also pose a potential danger. You should consider the following safety checks:

  • Is the fan out of reach from the baby? (I.e. not on a table, where it could fall and hit the baby or a toddler may be tempted to climb up to reach it?)
  • If the fan is on the floor, unplug it when not in use and secure the outlet with a baby proof outlet cover. 
  • Clean the fan regularly to prevent dirt from recirculating in your child's room/air. 
  • Use a fan guard to prevent your child from being able to stick his or her fingers in the fan. 

Changing Tables

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While changing tables might be convenient, they also do pose a risk. Even very young babies can push themselves off of a table, or roll off and get injured. And if the changing pad you are using buckles, it may slide off the table as well. While there are no official recommendations against using a change table, be sure to consider the pros and cons of an official changing table before purchasing one. If you're short on space, it may be just as easy (and safer) to stash some diaper supplies in a basket on the floor and change your baby there. 

The Crib Mattress

baby crib matress
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It's probably something most of us don't even think about, but unfortunately, even the very mattress your baby sleeps on may pose a danger to your baby. A study by the University of Texas, Austin found that ?crib mattresses emit toxic chemicals into the air, similar to cleaning products, right next to where a baby sleeps.

The news is scary because they found 1) body heat causes the chemicals to be released at a higher rate 2) the chemicals are emitted directly into the respiratory system because that's where the baby's head is and 3) the newer the crib mattress, the more toxic chemicals it releases. The researchers found chemicals such as phenol, neodecanoic acid, linalool, and limonene.

Although the health effects of these chemicals to babies are not yet known, it's still an important safety risk to consider, because as the study pointed out, babies actually inhale more air per surface than adults, putting them at greater risk for inhalation exposure. 

To avoid exposing your baby to chemicals from a crib mattress, look for a certified organic option, along with other tips for creating a chemical-free nursery

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