Here are some areas for consideration when creating a safe environment:
When designing your baby’s nursery or bedroom, keep in mind where it is located in your home. Ideally creating an environment in a quieter part of the house and not facing the street would help with noise and unnatural street lights.
Your children’s bedrooms should be designed to eliminate airborne contaminants and prevent excessive moisture in the air. Contaminants and moisture can encourage the growth of allergenic mould. It is recommended that opening the window regularly and installing energy safe ceiling fans to move air through the room. Ceiling fans can bring fresh air into the room and exhaust air out an open window.
Ideally fans should be energy safe and small and quiet enough to be left on all the time without creating drafts.
Noise and Lighting
Excessive noise and overly lit up rooms can interfere with your child’s sensory development.
Children have less skin melanin and fewer functional sweat glands and UV light is harmful to their developing eyes, instead indirect sunlight is the best option for room lighting. It is recommended that babies less than six months be kept out of direct sunlight.
Children’s hearing may be damaged by prolonged exposure to sounds above 80-90 decibels (dB), which is the level of a telephone ringing. It is recommended that noise level below 45 dB during the day (equivalent to light traffic and below 30 dB while a child is sleeping (equivalent to whispering).
It is also recommended to use blinds and louvers as window coverings especially since they shut out more light and noise. Aluminum or wooden slats that are untreated or finished with waterbased coatings are preferable to vinyl slats, which may offgass SVOCs.
It is not recommended to use fabric curtains because they may offgass VOCs or PBDEs and can absorb pollutants and attract dust, making them harder to clean and more likely to negatively affect air quality.
Electrical appliances, wiring and outdoor power lines generate electromagnetc fields (EMFs), which have negative health effects according to studies. The scientific community is divided on the health risks of EMFs, but we encourage precautions; limit the number of appliances in the nursery, keep electrical appliances and cords as far from the child’s cot as possible, keep the baby monitor as far as possible and choose a room that does not have an electrical service panel on the interior or exterior wall.
Often the materials typically found in a child’s nursery can endanger your child’s health and degrade the quality of their environment. The carpet your baby crawls on absorbs dust mites, lead dust, pesticides, pathogens, allergens, and many other airborne and tracked in compounds from the day it is installed. Unfortunately carpets and padding are likely to be made of synthetic materials and chemicals that can harm your baby, such as PBDEs and adhesives that outgas VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).