Ensuring your child's nursery is a safe haven can seem a challenging prospect as danger seems to lurk around every corner. The following guidelines can help safeguard your child:
- Cribs: Ensure that your crib meets with US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. If you have been given a crib or are buying a used crib, make sure it was not manufactured before 1988 and check to see that it has the following: a firm, tight-fitting mattress; no loose, missing, or broken hardware or slats; no more than 3/8 inches between the slats; no corner posts over 1/16 inches high; no cut-out designs on the headboard or footboard.
Other CPSC crib safety tips include not putting pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like bumper pads, or pillow-like stuffed toys in the crib. Parents may consider using a sleeper instead of a blanket, but if you do use a blanket, place your baby with feet to the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, covering the baby only as high as her chest.
- Crib toys and pacifiers: Avoid hanging toys or pacifiers across the crib or on the crib corner posts and never use strings to hang objects such as mobiles or diaper bags, as these can cause strangulation.
- Bassinets and cradles: Make sure these have a sturdy bottom and a wide base for stability, as well as a smooth surface with no protruding staples or other hardware that could cause injury. The legs should have strong locks to prevent folding while in use. As with cribs above, make sure the mattress is firm and fits snugly.
- Changing tables: Check the table for safety straps to prevent falls and look for a shelf or drawers that are easily accessible so you don't have to leave your baby unattended to grab a diaper during changing.