Consider paint fumes, lights, safety when planning nursery
Little ones have greater susceptibility to air pollutants, so choose supplies with care.
Is there a baby coming into your life soon? Perhaps you are thinking in terms of designing the perfect nursery. Sounds like great fun to me, but I do have an important tip for you to contemplate.
No doubt you will be considering freshening up the baby’s room by painting it and coming up with the right color to create the perfect atmosphere for that precious little one. Read on.
First, please know that my intention is not to scare anyone, but facts are facts, so here goes. Did you know that harmful paint fumes continue to off-gas in your home for years after painting? Well, it’s true. Though the fumes might be minimal, they are floating in the air nonetheless.
Surely you know that the health impact of indoor-air quality is important and how much more important is that air quality in the baby’s room. Babies have a higher resting metabolic rate — meaning their rate of oxygen consumption is greater than adults’. Little ones, therefore have greater susceptibility to air pollutants.
Lullaby Paints, for one, says that its paints contain no harmful chemicals, toxins, solvents or VOCs. VOCs — volatile organic compounds — are gases that can be emitted from certain chemicals, including many household products.
This can be concerning, as levels of these VOCs are often usually higher indoors than they are outdoors and have been associated with some health problems, such as headaches; nausea; eye, nose and throat irritation; and other more serious problems. Many household products contain VOCs, including cleaners and disinfectants, wood preservatives, paint strippers and, of course, paints.
How about lighting in the nursery? After all, you will need general lighting and subtle but useful night lighting for those middle-of-the-night feedings. Ambient lighting is the main source of light in any room and overhead lights that are flush to the ceiling are the most common.
But consider where those overhead lights are placed. Your little one will be on his or her back with eyes facing the ceiling, so a light directly over the baby’s crib might be too bright and intense for a newborn’s senses. Be aware of this when placing the crib in the room.
As far as night light is concerned, the rods in your eyes will be able to see just fine with dim lighting, so a lamp with a low-wattage bulb will work. Having that lamp plugged into an outlet that allows you to turn it on from a switch by the door is perfect.
Now be ready for when baby starts to crawl. Be sure any cords from the lamps are out of the way so the baby doesn’t accidentally pull on it and have the lamp come tumbling down.