How To Quickly Fix Nursery Dangers:
Baseboard Heaters And Other Speedy Remedies
There are many words couples use to describe what it's like expecting a child: blissful, joyous... Daunting. All you want is for your child to be happy and healthy, but there are many dangers that hide around every corner. Infants spend about 10 to 14 hours a day sleeping in their nursery, so it's safe to assume that the safety of your child starts there.
But what if that's exactly where those dangers are lurking? Here are 4 ways that most nurseries harm a child's health. And a few ways to fix them.
1. Outdated Paint
Every nursery naturally has some paint on the walls, but if your home was built before 1978, it's very likely that the paint is lead based. Though it wasn't known at the time, we now know that dust from lead based paint causes multiple medical issues in both born and unborn children.
Lead poisoning causes complications like hearing problems, kidney damage, lowered IQs, and poor body growth. Symptoms include headaches, low appetite, constipation, and abdominal pains.
Since the dust from the paint is what actually causes the issues, a coat of fresh paint or a new layer of wallpaper should be able to sufficiently prevent poisoning. If you go with this option, be sure to look for a paint brand with little to no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) for the safest choice.
Do not attempt to have the paint or walls removed while you are in the house - this would be extremely harmful to your newborn. If the paint must be removed, hire a professional and follow their recommendations about how to safely finish the process.
Most people opt for carpet when they are expecting a child, but this can actually endanger the child. Sure, it's soft and it might provide cushioning when your child is crawling around the house, but it can also harbor many hazards.
Carpet is practically a breeding ground for allergens and dust mites. It can also collect pet dander that might be difficult to remove even with the most high powered of vacuums. And think about it. While your child is crawling around, they are breathing in air mere inches away from carpet that could have been around for decades!
The easiest fix is to resist the temptation of plush carpet and opt for hardwood or tile. Then you can add area rugs that can be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis.
If removing the carpet is not an option, then consider purchasing a HEPA grade air purifier with quiet operation to help reduce airborne dust and allergens that could be emanating from the carpet.
3. Too Many Blankets
When the temperature drops, it's a natural reaction to give an extra blanket to your newborn or add a few extra layers of clothes. By doing this, however, you increase the risk of suffocation and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Studies are starting show that SIDS, which is the third highest cause of death for infants, can sometimes be caused by "overbundling." Adults have physiological mechanisms that can prevent them from overheating, but an infant hasn't developed these mechanisms yet and are only able to exchange heat through the head and the body. Overbundling prevents that important heat exchange from happening.
An infant is also unable to move the covers if they are too close to blocking airways. It's up to you to find new ways to keep the child safe while sleeping.
Look into adding heating sources to the nursery that do not produce targeted or focused heat. Baseboard heaters are a great solution as they are thermostat controlled and provide comfortable, even heating. Most can be mounted to the wall so they stay out of the way.
4. Toxic Mattress
Remember how we said that infants spend about 10-14 hours a day sleeping? That means that they speed 10-14 hours a day with their faces resting against the mattress in their crib. This is the most important part of keeping the nursery safe, but it also seems to always fall through the cracks.
Most mattresses are made with from polyurethane foam, which is not only known to be flammable, but can also emit those ugly VOCs that we don't even want in our paint. Even flame retardant mattress carry chemicals created by the very same processes that are supposed to render the mattress flame resistant.
Scientists and environmental groups are beginning to link a chemical called phthalates that is used to soften vinyl mattress with hormone stunting medical issues, as discussed in this great NY Times article.
The best solution for this is to find a mattress that is made from organic materials, such as cotton and wool. Also make sure you do a sufficient amount of research on the mattress before purchasing it. Many mattress companies are attempting to ride on the "organic craze" by misrepresenting what is actually used to make the mattress.
This will be one of the cases where internet reviews and expos??s will be your greatest resource. Just be sure that the source is reputable, look for dependable new articles like CNN or websites that end in .gov or .edu.
Spring Into Action
Chances are that one or two of these deadly issues reside in your child's room this very second. They may seem small or insignificant, but you don't want to take any chances with flammable mattresses or suffocation risks. By targeting the problem, and possessing the knowledge to fix it, you can protect your infant from these situations before they become dangerous.