Every home is different, and no checklist is complete and appropriate for every household, however use this checklist to help ensure that the bedrooms in your home are safer for your child.
Your Child's Bedroom
- Never leave your child unattended. Keep supplies within arm's reach and always use the safety belt to help prevent falls. Try to keep a hand on your child at all times, even when using the safety belt.
- Use cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit. If this is not possible, make sure drapery and blind cords are tied up high with no loops. Loose cords can strangle children so remember to check the cords in all rooms to make sure that they are out of reach.
- If you use baby powder, pour it out carefully and keep the powder away from baby's face. Published reports indicate that talc or cornstarch in baby powder can injure a baby's lungs.
- Reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). All healthy babies younger than 1 year should sleep on their backs at nap time and at night. The safest place to sleep is in a crib with a firm mattress with a fitted sheet. Infants should never sleep in an adult bed or on a couch. Keep pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and stuffed toys out of your baby's crib. They can cover your baby's face, even if she is lying on her back.
- Don't hang anything with strings or ribbon over cribs. Keep monitor cords well away from the crib and make sure your baby cannot reach any window cords.
- Use a crib that meets current standards. It should not have a drop side or any raised corner posts or cutouts where loose clothing could get snagged and strangle your baby. Also, the slats should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart and the mattress should fit snuggly to prevent entrapment.
- Tighten all the screws, bolts, and other hardware securely to prevent the crib from collapsing. Only use hardware provided by the manufacturer.
Other bedroom items
- Night-light. Keep night-lights away from drapes or bedding where they could start a fire. Buy only cool night-lights that do not get hot.
- Smoke alarms. Install smoke alarms outside every bedroom (or any area where someone sleeps), in furnace areas, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Buy alarms with long-life lithium batteries. Standard batteries should be changed every year. Test alarms every month to make sure they are working properly.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. Install CO detectors on each floor of your home. CO is a toxic gas that has no taste, no color, and no odor. It comes from appliances or heaters that burn gas, oil, wood, propane, or kerosene.
- Window guards. Make sure window guards are secured to prevent a child from falling out the window.
- Toy chest. The best toy chest is a box or basket without a lid. However, if it has a lid, make sure it has safe hinges that hold the lid open and do not pinch. The chest should also have air holes just in case your child gets trapped inside.
- Humidifier or vaporizer. Use a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer to avoid burns. Clean it according to manufacturer instructions to avoid bacteria and mold growth.