10 Baby Room Decorating Tips Every New Parent Should Know

By Debra Holtzman, J.D., M.A.

“Every parent wants a beautifully decorated nursery for their precious baby. But safety and comfort of the baby must be your top concern,” says Debra Holtzman, an internationally recognized safety and health expert and the author of the best-selling book, The Safe Baby: A Do-it-yourself Guide to Home Safety (Sentient Publications).

Debra Smiley Holtzman offers a checklist of suggestions to help keep baby safe:

10 babyroom decorating ideas

10 babyroom decorating ideas

1. Use a new crib that meets current national safety standards. Corner posts should be 1/16 inch or shorter. (If greater, they may cause entanglement with clothing.) Distance between crib slats should be 2 3/8 inches or less to avoid entrapment.

2. Look for the JPMA label — the certification seal from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association –when you buy baby equipment. Also, keep up-to-date on recalled products by visiting www.Recalls.Gov.

3. To prevent suffocation and reduce the likelihood of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), remove all soft, loose and fluffy bedding from the baby’s sleep area — this includes pillows, quilts, comforters, bumper pads, sheepskins, stuffed toys and other soft products. Never place baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow or other soft surface to sleep. Remember to place your baby on her back to sleep at night and nap time.

4. Make a safe zone around the crib. To help reduce the risk of falls, strangulation, suffocation, and burns, do not position the crib near windows, draperies, electrical cords, hanging wall decorations, heating sources, curtain cords or climbable furniture.

5. Never hang anything on or above a crib with a string or ribbon longer than seven inches. (This precaution lowers the risk of strangulation) Also, avoid strings on all infant products, including pacifiers and rattles.

6. Use angle braces or anchors to secure large or heavy furniture and objects, which presents a tipping hazard, to the wall. (About 8,000-10,000 victims are treated in emergency rooms annually for furniture tip-over injuries, and some of these injuries are fatal.)

7. Window treatments with hanging cords manufactured before 2001 may pose a strangulation risk to small children and pets. You can replace them with cordless window coverings or repair them. You can obtain free retrofit safety devices from the Window Covering Safety Council. Visit: http://www.windowcoverings.org.

8. Install safety devices: a smoke alarm, window guards or window stopping devices, (check local fire and building codes) and safety covers over all electrical outlets — big ones that won’t be a choking hazard if they are pulled out. (Take all these precautions throughout your home, including placing smoke alarms in every sleeping area and every level of your home.)

9. The best choice for a toy chest is one without a lid or with a lightweight, removable lid. Suffocation deaths occur in such places when children crawl inside and cannot escape. (If your toy chest closes, make sure it has ventilation holes and no latch.)

10. If you plan fresh decorating, apply paint or install new carpet or furniture well in advance of the baby’s arrival. (If the baby is already at home, keep her in your bedroom for a few weeks — in a safety-approved crib or bassinet — so she won’t be inhaling air pollutants.)

Lastly, Debra Holtzman strongly recommends room sharing, i.e. placing the baby’s crib or separate sleep surface along side the adult bed. Your baby should not share a bed, sofa, couch, or armchair with you or other children.

Debra Holtzman is an award-winning parenting author.

Telephone: 954-963-7702

Short URL: http://www.vannuysnewspress.com/?p=17460

Posted by on Mar 16 2007. Filed under Family and food, Health & Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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