Safe and sound: Help young children get a good night`s rest

Volume 28 • Number 3
March 2007
Safe and sound: Help young children get a good night’s rest
When your child was an infant, you took every precaution to make sure he/she was safe in the
crib. You placed the baby on its back to sleep, avoided overbundling and tucked the blanket
below the chest and under the arms to keep it away from his/her face.
Parents should continue to take precautions to
ensure that toddlers and young children remain
safe during nighttime hours.
Children may be ready to graduate from a crib to
a toddler bed or bed by age 2, according to George
J. Cohen, M.D., FAAP, editor-in-chief of Guide to
Your Child’s Sleep. “When the child gets tall enough
to get a leg up to the top of the crib rail, it is best to
switch to a bed to avoid a tumble.”
Children who can climb out of their cribs and
leave their bedrooms at night also risk injury when
they wander the house unsupervised. Dr. Cohen
recommends putting a bell on the child’s door to
awaken parents if the child tries to leave the room.
“The child needs to learn to stay there until the
parent comes to get him.”
Making sure that dangerous household items
are unreachable both in daytime and nighttime
hours is essential, he added.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and Dr.
Cohen also offer these tips to help ensure your child
is safe when sleeping.
• Do not give your child a pillow until age 2.
Make sure the pillow is relatively small and
• Use guardrails only to keep a child from falling
out of bed, not to restrain the child in the bed.
• Check labels of sleepwear before buying to
determine the proper size and fit for the child.
Sleepwear size 9 months to size 14 is sold as
either flame-resistant or snug fitting (nonflame-resistant). Nonflame-resistant sleepwear should be snug fitting, because loosefitting sleepwear is more likely to catch fire.
• Check sleepwear labels and fabric softener
package labels before washing flame-resistant sleepwear to make sure fabric softener
will not reduce flame retardancy.
• Keep cribs/beds away from windows to avoid
• Keep drapery cords and electrical cords out
of reach to avoid strangulation and falls.
• Place bunk beds in a corner with walls on two
sides. Never let a child under age 6 years sleep
in the top bunk.
— Trisha Korioth
©Copyright 2007 AAP News
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Safe and sound: Help young children get a good night's rest
Trisha Korioth
AAP News 2007;28;25
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Safe and sound: Help young children get a good night's rest
Trisha Korioth
AAP News 2007;28;25
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AAP News is the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. A monthly publication, it has
been published continuously since 1948. AAP News is owned, published, and trademarked by the
American Academy of Pediatrics, 141 Northwest Point Boulevard, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, 60007.
Copyright © 2007 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved. Print ISSN: 1073-0397.
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