Decorating your child’s room is a fun and exciting time, but make sure your decorating inspirations are grounded in safety. Many parents mistakenly believe that window cords only pose a potential strangulation danger to newborns and infants who spend a great deal of time sleeping.
However, safety experts say that once a child reaches the age of three or four, parents need to be especially vigilant in restricting a child’s access to window areas. It is not uncommon for accidents involving children of this age to occur during active play.
Curious toddlers and older children may climb onto low-standing furniture or bookcases, either to peek out a window or to use the window cord as a Tarzan-type swing.
Some unknowingly spin in circles while holding onto a window cord, inadvertently winding the cord around themselves. Others pretend the cord is a necklace or cowboy lasso, which can tragically become a noose when the child jumps off the furniture or windowsill area to the floor. Low-standing furniture placed near a window is of particular concern.
Safety experts say toy chests, under the window couches and bookshelves, beanbag chairs, large cachepots for indoor plants and computer towers all can serve as “hidden stepstools” that a young child might use to reach a window or window cords.
Parents focusing on the safety of their older children should also decorate with safety in mind for baby’s room. Areas such as cribs and windows are often the focus of decorating ideas for nurseries. Parents should be particular in selecting these products as they can
pose hidden hazards to a baby’s safety.
Crib and cradle slats should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart, and the crib itself should be sturdy, in goodrepair, and with a mattress that fits snugly. Avoid placing fluffy comforters or pillows in the crib, where they might accidentally smother a baby.
Always place the crib away from any windows in the room, preferably on another wall. Most reports of accidental window-cord strangulations involve window cords within reach of an infant’s crib or playpen. Both the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) recommend that parents use cordless window
coverings in children’s bedrooms, as well as any room where a child regularly sleeps or plays. Parents are urged to move all low-standing furniture, cribs, and beds away from windows in any areas of the home where young children spend time. New cordless window coverings and decorating solutions to match all budgets and decorating schemes make decorating for safety a breeze from springloaded, no pull cord horizontal blinds and pleated shades to café curtains and roller shades. A simple cordless window covering in a neutral color, with a brightly patterned valence or topper to pick up the room’s decorating scheme and color palette is a popular and practical solution to safely adding style to a
nursery or toddler’s room.