Building a Better Bedroom: Child Safety Tips
October is Window Covering Safety Month, the perfect time to discuss child safety - specifically how to make your child’s bedroom as safe as possible.
October is Window Covering Safety Month, an annual awareness campaign sponsored by the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Each October, these organizations urge parents and caregivers to check their window treatments for exposed or dangling cords, which pose a threat to young children.
So, we thought this week was as good as any to discuss child safety – specifically how to make your child’s bedroom as safe as possible.
Safety Tips for a Better Child’s Bedroom
“Even if you feel pretty confident that you’ve done a thorough job of childproofing, chances are you’ve missed something,” writes Rebecca Felsenthal Stewart, Parents Magazine. Here are a few helpful tips to better childproof your son or daughter’s bedroom.
Secure Dressers & Bookshelves
“All heavy furniture needs to be anchored to the wall or to the floor,” says Gary Smith, M.D., Dr. P.H., director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Each year, nearly 15,000 kids visit the E.R. for tip-over-related injuries.
“Most of us probably received quite a few of those outlet plug covers that you stick in the outlet at our baby showers,” says Nicole Johnson, The Baby Sleep Site. “A safer alternative in your toddler’s room is to install a safe plate for your electric outlet.” These simple-to-install plates are more difficult for toddlers to figure out than the outlet plug covers.
Believe it or not, toy-related injuries send about 180,000 kids to the emergency room each year, says Nationwide Insurance. For starters, it is important to choose age-appropriate toys for your child. Secondly, proper toy storage is a must. Nationwide recommends storing toys on shelves that kids can easily reach. This way children are not tempted to climb to reach their favorite toys. Also, store to loose on the shelf so there is nothing heavy that could potentially fall on a child.
Toy Box Safety
Just when you thought you couldn’t learn anymore about safe toy storage, the American Academy of Pediatrics comes out with a complete list of toy box safety tips. These include:
- Look for a toy box with a lightweight top, removable top, or, preferably no top. A toy box can be dangerous for two reasons: a child could be trapped inside, or the lid could fall on your child’s head or body.
- If you choose a toy box with a hinged lid, be sure to choose one that supports and holds the lid open on its own. Or you can install a similar safety device yourself.
- If your toy box has a lid, be sure there is ventilation just in case a child becomes trapped inside.
- Be sure the lid does not latch when closed.
Window Fall Prevention
“Another scary thing that can happen in your toddler’s room, especially during beautiful Fall months, when you might want the windows open, is he can climb out of his window,” says Johnson. A simple way to prevent this is to 1) make sure all furniture is positioned away from windows and 2) install window guards or window stops, which restrict just how much a window can be opened. Do not rely on a window screen to keep your child safe, warns Nationwide Insurance.
“Screens are meant to keep insects out, not to prevent falls–a child can easily push out a window screen.”
Cordless Window Treatments
It was only a matter of time before we addressed window treatments. You had to know it was coming. But the truth is that corded window coverings are a safety hazard for infants and small children.
“Window cord strangulations are one of the top hidden hazards in the home,” says CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
From 2006 to 2012, 1,590 children between the ages of 14 months and eight-years-old suffered injuries resulting from entanglements with window covering cords, based on estimates from the CPSC.
Fortunately, the solution is quite simple: Cordless Window Treatments.
“WCSC is urging parents and caregivers to replace older window coverings in their home with today’s safer alternatives, such as cordless designs,” says WCSC Executive Director Peter Rush.
Next Day Blinds Cordless Window Treatments are not only fully custom, providing a beautiful aesthetic, but these blinds and shades also safer for children and pets and Certified Best for Kids through the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) certification program.
“The program provides clarity to retailers and consumers who now can easily identify those products that have been independently tested specifically to meet the program’s criteria,” says WCMA Executive Director Ralph Vasami.
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