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Originally published June 28, 2013 at 8:02 PM | Page modified July 2, 2013 at 10:49 AM

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Painting the baby’s room

How to get that nursery ready, and in a safe manner.

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Anybody out there having a baby? A grandbaby? A new niece or nephew? Adopting a new baby? Then it is time to get that nursery ready, and in a safe manner.

We all know about the lead that is to be avoided when purchasing a new crib. Well, not to worry because all new cribs are free of lead. Old hand-me-downs, not so much. Just be careful.

What about fabrics? Most baby linens and baby sleeping clothes today are fire-retardant, and it has been that way for many, many years. Be wary about old hand-me-downs, however.

OK, now for the walls. Is it time to paint? Colors are important, of course, and a theme is always nice, both for the baby and for the parents to enjoy. But be sure the paint is nontoxic. Toxic chemicals from conventional paint will off-gas for three to five years after painting.

It is said that the fumes, called volatile organic compounds (VOC), can cause many health issues for babies and toddlers. Short-term health effects include headaches and nausea. The long-term health effects include asthma, neurodevelopmental impacts, congenital defects and even cancer. Since babies spend up to 16 hours sleeping and resting in their nurseries, they can be exposed to off-gassing fumes a lot.

Plus they have a higher resting metabolic rate than adults, so they are especially vulnerable to breathing in those dangerous pollutants.

Consider going with a company that offers a baby-safe (and mother-to-be-safe), nontoxic, eco-friendly and attractive solution. Lullaby Paints has a paint line praised as much for its color, coverage and durability as for its safety. It offers 32 colors and 16 shades of chalkboard paint.

Chalkboard paint is exactly what it says: It makes the wall or whatever you are painting a chalkboard so you can use chalk to write on it, and you can erase and start again. The paints go on smoothly and evenly, and can be mixed for an endless number of paint colors if you have a mind to do so.

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