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How can I make sure my toddler's bed is safe?
Moving your child from her crib to a bed is an exciting milestone for everyone, but it does bring up some new safety concerns. To make sure she's as safe and secure as she was in the crib, follow these tips:
• Choose a bed that's low to the ground, so if your child should fall, it won't be as dangerous a spill.
• Don't put anything near the bed that she could hit her head on if she fell out.
• If the bed frame doesn't have built-in guard rails, get your own. Be sure that you'll be able to attach the rails properly before buying the bed. Some highly decorative or odd-shaped frames (like race-car beds) may not take bed rails.
• If you choose an ornamental head and footboard, be sure the cutouts or slats are less than 3.5 inches wide so your child's head can't fit through.
• Place the bed safely away from windows, heating units, wall lamps, and drapery and blind cords. Pushing the bed up against a wall can eliminate half the risk of falling, just make sure it doesn't slide across the floor easily or your child could slip down and become trapped.
• Don't put kids in bunk beds until the older child is ready to sleep on top (usually not until he's around 6 or 7) and even then make sure the top bunk has guard rails. No matter how much your younger child may protest, never put a toddler in a top bunk.
The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.