Keep your children safe and sound with these decorating tips that take their safety into consideration.
Although most parents think that bunk beds are the ideal choice for a children's room, there are dangers associated with this type of furniture.
Experts maintain that children under the age of six should be prohibited from sleeping on the top bunk. Unfortunately children will be children and even though the child is barred from sleeping on the top tier, this won't necessarily prevent accidents from happening.
In a report released in 2000 the Aberdeen Children's Hospital in Scotland UK found that 85 out of 8000 children admitted to its emergency room had suffered injuries from bunk bed accidents. Most of the patients were under six years old and their injuries were regarded as 'significant'. According to a report on the BBC, 25 children had sustained fractures, 27 had head injuries, 12 had cuts that required treatment and 21 had suffered sprains and bruises. Surprisingly, given the antics of the average child, only two of the cases were due to the child jumping from the upper bunk. The majority of cases which involved head injuries, where the child had fallen off the top bunk while asleep.
Bunk beds may be one of the more obvious dangers, but it's not the only things that parents should take into consideration when furnishing a child's room.
According to an American report released in April this year, window blind cords have caused at least 332 deaths over the past 30 years. Deaths in children could be much higher and interestingly, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has identified window coverings with cords as one of the top five hidden hazards in the home. In a safety alert published on its website it reports that a child of between seven and 10 years dies from window cord strangulation and another suffers a near strangulation about once a month.
Although there aren't any statistics for South Africa this doesn't mean that parents should become complacent when fitting blinds in a children's room.
Navir Thakur, a manger with Alpha Blinds in Durban, says that although most imported products come with a warning regarding the dangers of strangulation, his staff are instructed to alert any consumer to the dangers associated with blinds and children. "Unfortunately the problem with this scenario is that more often than not blinds are fitted while the home owner is away."
Although Thakur notes that his company has never heard of any incidences of strangulation in the 20 years of the company's existence, he does stress that parents should err on the side of caution and offers the following tips for parents who have or want to install blinds in a child's room:
- Do not position things such as cots, beds, tables, desks or bookcases close to a window in a younger child's room.
- Try to hide cords or at least make the cords inaccessible.
- Consider installing cleats keep cords safely out of the way.
While it's simply not possible to prevent all accidents in the home, there are ways to ensure that your child doesn't get seriously hurt in the sanctuary of his bedroom.