Childproofing the bedroom

Childproofing the bedroom

Your child's bedroom is her comfort zone, so you'll want to make it as safe and cozy as possible. Here are a few of the most important bedroom safety concerns.

Crib safety basics

If your child hasn't yet made the transition to a bed, make sure his crib meets current safety standards. New cribs have to meet safety regulations to be sold in the United States, but be careful with older or borrowed cribs: Most crib-related accidents and deaths happen in previously used cribs that don't meet current safety standards.

  • Make sure crib slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (you shouldn't be able to fit a soda can between the slats) to prevent your child's head from getting caught between the bars. The crib shouldn't have any missing or broken slats. And be sure the mattress fits snugly — no more than two fingers should fit between the mattress and the side of the crib.
  • Lower the crib mattress and remove the bumper pads, if you're using them, as soon as your child can pull herself up. 
  • Corner posts should be no higher than 1/16 of an inch and no shorter than 16 inches if there's a canopy. And make sure the headboard and footboard don't have any decorative cutouts that could trap your child's head or limbs.

From crib to big bed

Once your child is 35 inches tall or can climb or fall over the side of the crib, it's time to think about moving him to a bed. If he's not quite ready for a big kid bed, you can ease the transition with a smaller toddler bed or by putting the crib's mattress or a regular mattress on the floor.

When he makes the move to a big bed, buy one with guardrails or attach guardrails to an existing bed to prevent falls. If you're using bunk beds or some other type of specialized bed, there's a universal guardrail that should work with all types. Remember that your child's used to sleeping in an enclosed space. Put some pillows or something soft next to the bed, just in case he manages to roll out.

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