We think of bedrooms as a place of sleep and sweet dreams. While that’s true for even a child’s bedroom, there are little things that can cause bumps in the night or day that could end up with a visit to the emergency room. You’ve probably thought about childproofing your kitchen, your living room, or all stairways – but what about your child’s bedroom?
We spend about a third of our day sleeping. For kids, the bedroom can also be playhouse, nursery, pretend castle, or make-believe spaceship. That’s a lot of time in one room. Whether they are a newborn, a toddler, or an active and imaginative preschooler, there are some things you should do as a parent to make sure your child’s bedroom is safe. That way, you too can sleep at night.
Cribs and beds
Crib safety has come a long way and there are strict guidelines in Canada for manufacturing and selling new cribs. It is best to buy a new crib that is sturdy and meets today’s standards and only use a mattress that has been designed for that crib. All cribs made before September 1986 are considered unsafe, and it is illegal to sell or advertise them in Canada. When your child is ready to graduate to a bed, choose one that suits their size.
Whether a bed or a crib, do a weekly check to make sure it is sturdy, that there are no loose parts, bolts, or screws, and that any wear and tear does not pose harm to your child. An exposed sharp corner or splintered wood can really hurt. For babies in cribs, avoid putting toys or too many blankets in with the child which could lead to suffocation. Even for older kids, keep the sleep time toys to a minimum and use only soft materials that won’t harm them.
Furniture and shelves
Falling furniture is one of the most dangerous things in your home – thousands of children each year are harmed by pulling down or climbing up shelves, dressers, or bookcases. Always secure these to the wall so that prying little hands and crawling little feet won’t tip them over. And keep the items on the shelves to a minimum, or at least display only soft items that aren’t heavy, sharp, or won’t shatter like glass.
Window coverings and decorations
Little eyes and hands are curious – they like to peek and pull. Don’t leave a window wide open and make sure it has a guard of some kind. Drapes and blinds can also be tugged on and pulled down and cords can pose all sorts of hazards. The safest thing to do is install cordless blinds or if you have a looped cord, cut it so that it doesn’t snare your child.
Toys and gadgets
It’s the perpetual battle between parent and child, but keeping the room tidy and putting away all toys isn’t just about appearance — it’s also about safety. Everything in its place at the end of play time. When it comes to buying and choosing toys for your child, also consider the safety implications:
- Follow age restrictions and other manufacturer guidelines for all toys
- Examine toys for small parts that could be choking hazards
- Check for toy recall with sites such as Health Canada or US Government Recalls.
And with so many wired and chargeable toys and gadgets about, that also means keeping cords and chargers stowed away and safety covers on all electrical outlets to prevent strangulation, choking, or electrical shocks.