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Bedroom

BABIES - COT

  • Only use a cot that meets the Australian Standard AS2172. 
  • Only use a standard cot for everyday use, not a portable cot or travel cot.
  • Look for a fixed base cot with the lowest possible base.
  • Make sure the mattress fits firmly.
  • Don't use quilts, doonas, duvets, pillows, soft toys and cot bumpers in case of suffocation.
  • Safe dimensions for Cots:

    • Depth from bottom of mattress to top of cot is 600mm at least
    • Space between bars 50mm to 80mm
    • Space between cot sides/ends and mattress no more than 25mm
  • Check the cot for:

    • Finger traps: no spaces between 5mm and 12mm wide
    • Arm and leg traps: no spaces between 30mm and 50 mm wide
    • Head traps and fall through risks: no spaces 95mm wide or wider
    • Anything sticking out from the side or top of cot is no more than 8mm (no corner posts, screws or knobs that your baby's clothes can get caught on).
  • Remove large stuffed toys and bumper pads from the cot as your baby can use these as steps to climb out.
  • Make up the cot so that the bedclothes just come up to the baby's shoulders and the baby's head cannot go down under the bedclothes.
  • Make sure your baby's head remains uncovered during sleep.
  • Choose the location of your baby's cot with care. Keep away from extremes of temperature such as windows, doors or radiators and strangling hazards such as blind cords.
  • If you've chosen to use a family heirloom, rather than a new/modern cot, ensure that none of the surfaces are painted with old lead based paint. Many toddlers still chew surfaces and lead is poisonous. If in doubt you may want to re-paint the cot.
  • Tuck in your baby's bedclothes securely.
  • Position your baby's feet at the bottom of the cot.
  • Always make sure your baby's environment is smoke free.
  • Try not to let the baby get too hot or too cold. Place a thermometer in the baby's room to gauge the temperature.
  • Modern mattresses should all be fire retardant but always check. In addition, choose natural fibres such as cotton and wool for bedding as this dissipates heat and perspiration better.
  • If you are using a video or voice alarm, ensure that it is placed well out of reach of your baby and that all electrical wires are secured or hidden.
  • It's desirable to leave windows open at times for ventilation, but make certain that cats and similar pets can't enter the room and get access to the bed. If you have a cat that's free to wander, always check that 'Moggie' is not camping under the covers.
  • Be confident that your baby monitor is working by placing an old-fashioned ticking clock next to it. If you can hear to clock tick-tocking, you can be confident you'll hear your baby.

TODDLERS - BED

  • Choose a bed that is low to the ground in order to minimise the risk of injury if your toddler falls. Adjustable guard rails are available which fit between the bed base and mattress to prevent falls, converting a bed into a form of cot with low sides.
  • Choose the location of your toddler's bed with care. Keep away from extremes of temperature such as windows, doors or radiators and strangling hazards such as blind cords. Make sure that your toddler cannot become trapped between the side of the bed and the wall. 
  • Ensure the bed is sturdy and all screws and joints are secure, especially if you've assembled it yourself.
  • If you've chosen to use a family heirloom, rather than a new/modern cot, ensure that none of the surfaces are painted with old lead based paint. Many toddlers still chew surfaces and lead is poisonous. If in doubt you may want to re-paint the bed.
  • Place something soft around the bed such as a spare quilt or soft rug to lessen the shock of the fall and help prevent injury should your toddler fall out of bed.
  • Modern mattresses should all be fire retardant but always check. In addition, choose natural fibres such as cotton and wool for bedding as this dissipates heat and perspiration better.
  • If you are using bedding or pillows filled with feathers, check them frequently to ensure that the feathers cannot escape as they can pose a possible choking hazard.
  • If your toddler's bedding has been washed in strongly scented washing powder or fabric conditioner, make sure it's been well aired first. Chemical residues and strong perfumes can exacerbate asthma and produce allergic reactions in some children.
  • If you are using a video or voice alarm, ensure that it is placed well out of reach of your toddler and that all electrical wires are secured or hidden.
  • It's desirable to leave windows open at times for ventilation, but make certain that cats and similar pets can't enter the room and get access to the bed. If you have a cat that's free to wander, always check that 'Moggie' is not camping under the covers.

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