When you’re putting together your baby’s nursery, safety will of course be at the forefront of your mind. When your little one is so delicate and vulnerable, you want piece of mind knowing that they’re safe and protected. But there are a number of hidden dangers around the home which are damaging to health, and can be especially damaging to those that are very young- and so it’s important to know what they are so that you can protect against them. Here are some ideas.
Carbon monoxide is known as a ‘silent killer.’ It’s a colorless, odorless, tasteless and non- irritating gas which is often produced due to faulty gas appliances and other fuel burning devices. Companies like LifeShield can install carbon monoxide detectors which are linked up with your smoke alarms. They’re something that every property needs, if you’re looking at ways to protect your child at home then this is most definitely one of them. If you’re yet to install a carbon monoxide alarm at your home, bringing home your new baby could be a big wake up call to getting it done. It’s even more dangerous in babies than adults since they’re less developed, and also unable to communicate they way that they’re feeling other than crying. Which of course can be mistaken for lots of other things.
Black mold forms in areas that have been left damp for prolonged periods. It often occurs in winter as condensation from cooking, bathing and even breathing condenses on cold walls and ceilings in the home. Over time, this leads to black mold forming. It’s bad for health, and especially so in babies and children who are more sensitive. Black mold releases spores which affect respiration and breathing. The trouble with it is that it might not always be obvious. Regularly pull back beds, wardrobes and other items of furniture and check the walls behind them. Sometimes they can be concealing mold, damaging your child’s health without you even realizing. Proper ventilation is key for avoiding black mold, use an extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom to remove moisture. Regularly open windows in the home to air it out and help moisture to evaporate. And keep the house warm, set the thermostat so that it kicks in whenever the temperature drops below a certain level. You’ll of course want to keep your home warm for your baby, but it will prevent mold forming too.
Babies quickly transform from tiny beings that can’t even hold their head up, to curious little people within just a couple of years. And once a toddler starts to develop, they can do so incredibly quickly. You’ll find they improve their skills from one day to the next, something they weren’t’ able to do yesterday then can today. This is exciting as a parent, but it does mean that there are dangers you need to be aware of. Just because your baby can’t climb up to the window now doesn’t mean they never will, and so practicing window safety right from the beginning is key. Keep the larger lower windows locked with a key. Invest in a safety latch for the small, upper window. This will allow you to let some air in, but keep it closed tight enough so that there’s absolutely no risk of a child falling out. In the US alone, five thousand children fall from windows each year and the results can be disastrous. Life changing injuries can occur, and often death. Don’t take the risk here!
Choking and suffocation hazards
Again, because babies can develop so quickly, they can reach out and be grabbing things within the space of a few days. There have been sad cases in the media of babies that have reached through their cot, grabbed nappy bags from inside a pocket of a changing bag placed or hung nearby and choked. Little girls have suffocated on headbands that have fallen down over their face and covered their mouth. Small items left on the floor can be grabbed and choked on. It’s important to be so careful with this. Keeping your home, floors and surfaces immaculately clean can prevent debris being grabbed by babies. While none of us want to read the horror stories, being aware of past events can show you what you need to avoid and enable you to be that bit more careful.
It can be common practice for things like cots, changing tables and other baby furniture to be passed down from older to younger siblings when you have children. However it’s not actually a good idea to do so. When you buy brand new, you know that you’re getting the most up to date in safety standards. Things like baby mattresses can harbor dust and other toxins if they’ve been stored for a while which could be linked to cot death. While expensive, if you’re able to it’s far safer to go out and buy new- especially if the furniture you’re planning on re-using is a few years old. We all know the dangers of buying a second hand car seat, as it could have been dropped or sustained damage that affects its performance. But it’s less well known that second hand baby furniture is also best avoided.
It can be really quite scary to think about the dangers that can be lurking in a place as supposedly safe as your baby’s nursery. While you won’t want to worry yourself excessively, it is important to be aware of the dangers so you can do your best to avoid them. That way you have peace of mind that you’ve done everything you can. Chances are everything will be fine, but as a parent you’ll want to be proactive about your baby’s safety.
What steps have you taken to ensure your child’s room is as safe as possible?