Did you know that every year 2200 children die in the U.S alone due to some form of injury at home?
Which means every single day at least 6 kids are fighting for their lives!
The reason? Could be parents that just didn’t know any better or some may even be careless, but really, it all comes down to an unsafe home.
When I became a mom, the first thing I did was to develop a safety checklist of my own. This helped me organize everything that my baby might possibly come in contact with.
So, I was able to provide safety and also live a tension-free life.
The bedroom is the most important place for your child, and I will take you through the safety checklist that I follow.
Bedroom Safety Checklist for Babies and Toddlers
Cribs: Sleep Safety Matters First
#1- Avoid cribs with slats more than 6 cm apart. Strangulation is common with wide slats.
#2- Cover the edgy corners or look for cribs with rounded edges. I have heard of stories where the baby got injured by strangling clothes on the edges.
#3- Make a routine and check the crib often for loose nuts, bolts and parts.
#4- There shouldn’t be more than two finger space between the mattress and the crib. No gaps is preferable.
#5- Keep the mattress at the lowest setting so your baby can’t climb. Get a short crib if you are forced to lean over. Drop-side cribs are NOT safe, or even legal anymore.
#6- No stuffed animals, pillows, loose blankets, or toys in or on the crib when your baby is sleeping.
#7- Crib bumpers are NOT recommended (especially the padded ones). All your baby needs is a tight fitting sheet, and maybe a mattress protector on a firm mattress.
Changing Table: Prevent Falls
#8- Use the safety strap that comes with the changing table, and don’t ever leave your baby unattended on it. You never know when your baby might roll over for the first time.
#9- Most parents don’t know this, but your child can suffocate from swallowing diaper linings. Yes, that is true. Always cover him in a way so that the diaper is not exposed.
#10- A minimum of 2-inch guardrail on all four sides is mandatory. Use a dedicated baby changing table or a pad on the floor when taking care of those dirty diapers.
#11- The surface of the table shouldn’t be plain flat. The middle must be a little deep and low to stop your baby from rolling. Most changing pads that secure on top of the table are already designed like this.
Bunk Beds: Dangerous If You Are Not Careful
#12- At all costs, keep your children under 6 on the lower bunk. Bunk bed injuries are more common in children that age range.
#13- Get a staircase bunk bed instead of the one with ladders if you can. Stairs are safer and pose almost zero chance of a slip and fall. Also, check if the ladder or stairs are tightly attached to the bed.
#14- I always keep the floor near my children’s bunk bed clean. In that way, even if any one of them falls accidentally, the risk will be minimal.
#15- Buy bunk beds from only reputable manufacturers who meet all safety standards in the U.S.
Suffocation & Strangulation Prevention
#16- I never leave plastic bags and anything of that sort near my babies. Toddlers and babies can strangle or suffocate themselves just out of curiosity.
#17- Co-sleeping does come with a few risks, but there are also several benefits to it as well. And the same goes with cribs. Many times, moms end up bedsharing just out of pure sleep deprivation. What ever the case, if you do decide to co-sleep, just be sure to take all the necessary safety precautions.
#18- Be sure to avoid loose blankets with babies and young toddlers. Instead, get a wearable blanket or warm sleepwear.
#19- Get rid of all sorts of strings and cords from the bedroom. Got a necklace as a gift for you baby? It’s probably best to not use it. Your child’s life is definitely more important than her sporting jewelry.
Safe Toys Safe Home
#20- Buying age appropriate toys is an age old rule that many parents overlook. If you have children under 5, avoid any toys that are small in size or have small parts. Choking is most common at this stage.
#21- Don’t give coins as toys. Make the bedroom coin and pin free. 80% of all cases of injury related to swallowing is associated with coins.
#22- Toys for toddlers and babies should be able to withstand chewing. So, no sharp edges and harmful paint. Be sure to do your research before purchasing.
#23- Most homes have a toy chest or container for storing toys, but I recommend using an open container with no lid. If your’s does have a lid, be sure that the edges are rounded or secure with padding, and there’s no loose strings that your baby could get strangled in.
Smoke and Fire: You Never Know When it May Happen
#24- Install smoke alarms inside the bedroom, and if possible, in every room.
#25- Make sure to mount the alarm on the ceiling instead of the wall. Because smoke has a tendency to rise up and wall mounted alarms might not work efficiently.
#26- Install a sprinkler system if you can for extra safety.
#27- Use lithium batteries or inspect the battery life every few months if you use normal batteries in your fire alarm.
#28- If you have a heater or any appliance in your children’s room that runs on non-electric power sources like gas, it’s better to install a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector, as CO emission can be fatal. You can often find combo smoke and CO detectors.
Window Safety Basics
#29- Keep the bedroom windows closed when you are not around. Alternatively, you can install window stops to keep it within a 4 inch gap.
#30- The window should be free from all sorts of cords that may come with the blinds and curtains. We just ended up going with these cordless blinds.
#31- For young children that can manipulate the windows, you can put a lock on the inside of the window and keep the keys to yourself.
Lead and Other Posisons
It’s not just house paint that you need to check for lead. Everything from toys, furniture, food and cookeries can have lead in them. It can cause hearing damage, behavior problems and other long term fatal issues.
Here’s what you should do:
#32- Inspect the presence of lead in everything you buy for your baby. Cheap toys, in most cases, have lead-based paint. Throw them out!
#33- The utensils you use to cook and serve your children’s food should be lead-free.
#34- Be careful not to buy any candies from Mexico that has chilli or tamarind in it’s ingredient list. These candies might have lead in them.
#35- Get familiar with essential oil safety. While natural prodcuts are fantastic, natural doesn’t always mean safe. Be sure that you’re using essential oils safely with babies and young children.
#36- Get rid of other poisonous items, like alcohol, medicines, detergents, cosmetics, etc. from your baby’s room.
#37- For poison related emergencies, call at 1-800-222-1222 (National Capital Poison Center).
Button Batteries: Pesky Little Monsters
#38- If you have a remote control and automatic toys at home, there’s a good chance they might have button batteries in them. Never present them without supervision. From 1995-2010, 14 deaths of children have been reported due to battery ingestion.
#39- Check whether the battery compartments are secured by screws. If not, then cover it with duct tape.
#40- For emergencies, call at 1-800-498-8666 (National Battery Ingestion).
A Few Final Words
If you follow all the tips in the checklist above, your child’s bedroom should be (mostly) safe. Being a better parent isn’t just about loving and caring. Sometimes, it’s more about prevention and being careful.
As you implement these safety precautions, I’m sure you will find more to add to the checklist, depending on the environment you live in.
What About You?
Did you find this checklist helpful? Share your best safety tips in the comments below, and be sure to share this post with other new moms and dads.