Getting a nursery ready for a new baby can be a lot of fun, but keep in mind these important considerations to make it a safe haven.
For crib safety, choose a new crib that meets the latest standards — stronger crib slats and mattress supports, improved hardware and no drop-side rails. The spacing between crib slats must be no more than 2-3/8 inches and none should be missing or cracked. There shouldn’t be any corner posts over 1/16-inch above the end panels, or cutouts in the headboard or footboard. Make sure there are no missing, loose or broken crib screws, brackets or other hardware.
When outfitting the crib, use just the basics: A fitted crib sheet that fits snugly on a firm, tight-fitting mattress. Don’t place anything else in the crib — no bumpers, pads, pillows, quilts or any items of any kind, including toys.
If you’re buying a mesh-sided playpen, the mesh should be in excellent condition with weave openings less than 1/4-inch wide. The mesh must be securely attached on all sides. Make sure there are no tears, holes or loose threads. If staples were used, be sure none are missing, loose or showing.
Baby monitors are popular, but choose a cordless monitor when possible. Models with cords are strangulation hazards when placed within reach of an infant or toddler.
In fact, make sure there are no cords of any kind within baby’s reach. Any cord must be at least 3-feet away from every part of the crib, bassinet or playpen. Never place a monitor inside or on the edge of the crib.
Choose only age-appropriate toys to avoid choking and other safety hazards. Read labels carefully before buying and be aware of those marked “not for children under age 3.” Check toys regularly for wear and tear. If you see any loose pieces, threads or stuffing, fix them or toss them. Keep toys off the ground when playtime is over to avoid tripping on them.
Other safety tips:
- Don’t give baby any item that could have a small magnet or button battery in it — these are serious health hazards if swallowed.
- Even some toy chests are dangerous. Look for models without a lid or with a lid support that holds the lid open in any position. Regularly check that it’s working correctly.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has all the most important crib tips to keep baby safe and protected against suffocation.
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