Saturday, March 9, 2013

Safe Nurseries + Safe Equipment = Welcoming & Effective Ministry - Check Those Toys!

I've talked about taking a good look at the room you use for your nursery and safety policies. Now your room and policies are in order; it’s time to look at the toys, furniture and equipment in your nursery!

The Consumer Product Safety Commission - - and Consumer Reports - - are two main web sites every nursery director needs to know to ascertain nursery safety. Follow the links on these sites to learn specific safety standards and find recalls. For example, do you know full-size cribs must have slats, spindles, corner posts and rods not more than 2 ½” apart? Have you measured your cribs to be sure they meet this standard? Check all your cribs and throw away any which don’t. Are you aware of the danger of drop-side cribs? If you have any in your nursery, throw them away. If you have an infant swing with a wind-up feature, throw it away. Be sure all infant swings have at least a three-point safety harness and always use them. Check these sites to find safety standards for all items in your nursery. Make it part of your monthly nursery check to go on-line and see if anything in your nursery is on the monthly recall/alert list at –  Throw away any of your things you find on this list . . . do not give them away, throw them away!

We need to pay attention to safety alerts. Far too often nurseries are filled with cast off toys, furniture and equipment – items may be decades old; unfit and unsafe. Gather your volunteers and go through each toy and piece of furniture/equipment in your nursery. Throw away anything with rough edges or broken pieces. If you find toys with loose or small pieces and if you aren’t sure the toys in your nursery are lead free then throw them away! Check the following web sites for information on specific toys with safety issues – and the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s site. Manufacturers provide lists of specific toys with lead paint and recalled items –  - these are just a few - visit the web-site of the manufacturer of the toys you have and look for their section for “recalls”. Check lists against your toys and if you can’t verify the toys in your nursery are safe, throw them away!

So, now your nursery is clean, inviting and you’ve determined if your furnishings/equipment/toys are safe. There are many items available for use in our nurseries – how do we make our choices? In my next post I'll review specific items you might use in your nursery.

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