A Safe and Happy Playroom
Babyproofing and organizing baby’s play area
If you live in an older home built before 1978, consider the fact that any room designated as a play area could have lead lurking in old wallpaper or paint on the walls. Children’s immune systems are not really well developed until their teen years, so playing in a home with the risk of lead exposure could be hazardous to your baby’s health. Keenan counsels parents to skip the test-at-home lead kits and call 1-800-424-LEAD to get information on the closest analyzing company in your neighborhood.
Four Babyproofing Tips
So what are some other important things to consider when preparing for the babyproofing process?
- 1. Electrical outlets can be very fascinating to a baby facing them at eye level. Keenan says 15 percent of all childhood electrocutions happen in the home. Be sure to outfit any room your child will spend a lot of time in with the plastic outlet covers that are available at most retail stores.
- 2. Similar to electrical outlets, any electronics, such as DVD players or VCRs, can be just as tempting for little fingers. Make sure you keep those types of items away from floor level to stop children from forcing objects into them, Bowen says.
- 3. Never underestimate the climbing ability of a small child. Tucker already knows the capabilities of her toddler all too well and made sure she tethered all furniture in their playroom. For storage, she invested in a “sling” bookshelf that displays books face front and comes equipped with two soft, canvas drawers on the bottom for storage.
- 4. Before you even enter a child’s playroom, consider the fact that 30,000 children go to the emergency room each year with injuries from doors. Keenan says many companies sell hinges and doorstops for doors that are impossible to catch a child’s fingers or clothing, so be sure to put that on your checklist. Any kinds of cords that work curtains, window treatments, or blinds can easily become choking hazards, so make sure they are safely secured as well.
Stocking the Playroom
And finally, the playroom may be properly secured and babyproofed, but how safe are the toys in the toy box, or the actual toy box itself?
As of late, there have been a rash of toy recalls, with lead paint being the main component in the toys and children’s furniture. While legislation has been passed to allocate more funds for stricter toy inspections in the next few years, it is best to check any toys that may seem suspect, particularly if you’ve picked them up at any consignment sales. Ditto with any wooden plastic toy boxes or containers, which could also contain lead paint, Keenan says.
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