How to Choose a Comfortable and Healthy Mattress for Your Child

If you need to purchase a mattress for your beloved child, your main concerns will probably be cost and comfort. How about the toxicity of the mattress? Since children spend a great part of their time on a mattress, they should be protected from chemical off-gassing generated by most mattresses. The neurological, immune, respiratory, and reproductive systems of children are just developing and that’s why, they’re exposed to numerous toxic chemicals. And when they’re exposed, they don’t have the possibility to detoxify and expel these toxins.

If your child is exposed to a low level of chemicals during the vital stage of brain development, he/she will eventually deal with serious problems. While sleeping, your child’s body has to recover from the stress gathered during the day and reinforce, not inhale and take in toxic chemicals.

crib mattress

Photo Credit

What does a normal kid’s mattress contain?

Generally speaking, mattresses are filled with polyurethane foam, and this foam is produced from petroleum, together with numerous toxic chemical additives. The problem is that after a while, the polyurethane foam divides into tiny particles that will fly in the air and will be inhaled by your child. Material security data sheets inform us that the prospective health issues that might occur comprise breathlessness, mucous membranes’ irritation, coughing, faintness, exhaustion, distorted vision, cardiac arrhythmias, chest pain, headache, allergic reactions like the ones caused by asthma, weakness, sickness, and low pulmonary function. What’s more, you should know that memory foam mattresses include even higher amounts of potentially dangerous chemicals.

mattresses and chemicals

Photo Credit

Because mattress producers have to respect national flammability parameters, they introduce fire retardant chemicals which can turn out being really toxic, such as chlorinated or brominated fire retardants, modacrylic, boric acid, PBDEs, antimony, polyacrylonitrile, and various other chemicals. Certain chemicals have just been forbidden, but unfortunately, producers have already substituted them with other chemicals that can also be toxic. Because chemicals don’t dispel completely, no matter how much time passes, older mattresses keep off-gassing, despite the fact that they don’t feature the chemical smell anymore.

What should you opt for instead of toxic mattresses?

Luckily, you have now the possibility to opt for mattresses that are manufactured from natural organic materials. Most of these highly recommended mattresses respect and even surpass flammability parameters with secure, non-toxic components. You will see now several tips that can help you select the best mattress for your child.

1. Select an organic mattress made from materials that are not toxic at all

The most secure, and non-toxic material utilized for the manufacturing of mattresses is represented by 100% organic cotton. Cotton is solid, breathable, and extremely comfy. Additionally, natural latex can be considered a secure material, but this depends on the way it is produced. Latex is derived from the sap produced by the rubber tree plant. However, note that natural rubber/latex might be allergenic, especially for kids. Numerous allergists advise parents who have toddlers and very young kids to stay away from latex. The FDA won’t permit an item that comprises latex (especially natural latex) to be classified as “hypoallergenic”. Therefore, if you wish to opt for latex, make sure you choose only natural latex and avoid chemical latex combinations.

organic mattresses

Photo Credit

Wool is also utilized for organic mattresses, but the truth is that it naturally comprises some alcohols and lanolin, and these substances have allergenic characteristics. In case your kid deals with allergies, don’t consider wool a safe option. If you want to make a smart choice, look for mattresses that are labeled as eco-friendly, green, and also plant-based, and feature specifications like Bio Foam, Eco Foam, and Soy Foam.

2. Go for non-toxic natural fire protection

Certain mattress manufactures act in accordance with flammability guidelines and utilize wool, because it is a fiber that features natural fire retardant characteristics. Hence, search for a producer that utilizes only pure wool when it comes to this aspect.

3. Opt for dust mite proof and waterproof mattresses if you have a baby

In case you have a little baby or a preschool age kid, you need a waterproof mattress. Keep in mind that the only method to completely waterproof a mattress is to opt for plastic. So, you have to avoid other materials such as nylon, vinyl, and wool, and select a mattress that features a polyethylene covering, because this is the most secure dust mite proof and waterproof material that exists at the moment.

The Best Types of Flooring for Your Kids Rooms

Bamboo FlooringAny parent knows that children like to play, and they like to play hard. While they don’t usually intend to, playing often leads to damaged surfaces. One of the surfaces in a home that is subjected to the most wear and tear from children is the floor, particularly the floor in their bedrooms. Children spend a lot of time playing in their bedrooms, which means that the floors in these rooms can experience a lot of damage. When it comes to choosing flooring for a kid’s bedroom, parents should choose materials that can stand up to trains, cars, baby doll strollers, crayons and everything else that children love to play with, but they should also choose materials that will benefit their children. Fortunately, there are many flooring options available that are ideal for a child’s bedroom, and here is a look at five excellent choices:

  1. Cork. This material is a very practical option for flooring in a child’s bedroom for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, cork is extremely durable, which means that it can stand up to the heavy duty wear and tear that the floor in a child’s room is usually subjected to. Another bonus is that cork is a natural sound absorber, so it will cut down on the loud thumps of toys dropping, as well as the tapping of those little feet. If your child is prone to allergies, cork is a fantastic choice, as it is naturally anti-microbial and anti-allergenic.
  2. Bamboo. Another material that is fantastic to use as flooring in a kid’s bedroom is bamboo. Believe it or not, this hallow grass is actually much more durable than a lot of hardwoods, and durability is key when it comes to flooring in a child’s bedroom. In addition to being strong, bamboo is also moisture and stain resistant, which are certainly big pluses in a child’s room, not to mention there are minimal allergens associated with this material.
  3. Recycled Rubber. This material is not new in terms of flooring (think gym floors,) but recently, recycled rubber has become a very popular flooring option in homes. Recycled rubber is a sound absorbing material, so it cuts down on noise. It is easy to clean and a simple mopping is all that is needed to maintain it. It is soft underfoot, making it a comfortable surface to walk on and it is also relatively durable, with a lifespan of about 15 to 30 years. All of these benefits of recycled rubber make this material an ideal choice for a child’s bedroom; not to mention, it comes in a variety of colors and it can even feature patterns, making it very kid-friendly and appealing.
  4. Hardwood. When talking about flooring options for children’s bedrooms, you can’t overlook hardwood. This material is a classic and it is one that makes a suitable flooring surface in a child’s room for a number of reasons. Hardwood is relatively easy to maintain. A broom or dust mop can be used for daily maintenance, while a hardwood floor cleaner can be used for more in-depth cleaning. This material is also ideal for children who have allergies, as it eliminates many allergens. Hardwood is also completely customizable, so you can create essentially any look that you want. Another benefit is that it can serve as an insulator, which means it will help to keep your child’s room warm in the winter and cool in the summers.
  5. Berber Carpet. There is no denying that carpet offers a plush and warm feeling, making it a common and suitable choice for a child’s bedroom. Plus, since carpet is soft, it can protect against bumps and bruises. If you want to install carpet into your child’s room, the most durable type of carpet is your best bet; Berber. This carpet is strong, it wears well, it cleans fairly easily and it comes in a wide range of colors, making this carpet the best choice for a kid’s bedroom.

Depending on the look that you want to create, and your particular needs, these five options are your best bet when it comes to flooring for your child’s bedroom.

12 Lighting Tips for Kids Rooms

Lighting Options for Kids' RoomsWhen decorating a child’s room, there are many decisions that have to be made. From choosing the perfect theme to choosing the perfect paint color, the decisions often seem endless.  Lighting your child’s space will be among the most important decisions that you will make.  Use the 12 lighting tips for kids rooms listed below to ensure that your child’s space has proper lighting.

  • Start with overhead lighting. Overhead lighting is the main lighting that will brighten the space. It is the fixture in the room that will likely give off the most light and be used the most.  Popular overhead lighting that are often chosen for kid’s room is ceiling fans with light fixtures included. While this certainly isn’t your only choice, it can help reduce your cooling and heating bill and comes in various designs.
  • Fixtures that match the theme.  The options as far as lighting fixtures are endless. Regardless of what theme you have chosen there is likely one to fit your theme.  However, it is recommended that you choose timeless, classic fixtures that will grow with your child. Otherwise you may find yourself changing out the fixtures in the near future.
  • Task lighting is a must.  If you child will be reading, doing homework, or any other task that requires light, it can be beneficial to add in task lighting to the space. Perhaps lighting placed directly over the desk will help your child during the times when he is busy working at his desk.
  • Built in night lights.  Young children often request night lights to help them see during the night.  Consider building the night lights directly into the room by placing lights in places such as behind mirrors.
  • Natural lighting.  When deciding upon the perfect lighting for your child’s room, consider the natural light that he or she will have during the day.  If very little sunlight is let into the room during the day, you may need to add more lighting.
  • Focus on energy efficiency. Choose fixtures and bulbs that will save you money over time. Children often spend a lot of time in their rooms.
  • Colored lighting can add fun. For a burst of fun, choose to add in some color with colored light bulbs. This can give the room a glow that your child and his friends are sure to enjoy.
  • Fun lamp shades! If adding in color through light bulbs isn’t really your style, choose fun lamp shades.  Lamp shapes are available in many different colors.  If you need more light, you may need lighter shades.  Consider choosing a lamp shade that matches the current décor in the space.
  • Design your own lamp shades. Take a classic lamp shade and turn it into something fabulous by adding beads, fringe or some other decoration. The lighting added to the room can actually be fun and fit perfectly into the décor.  You may even choose to allow your child to help you decorate a lamp for his space.
  • Versatile lighting. Consider lighting that can be used in many ways. A bedside table lamp can be used as task lighting and to add in additional lighting into the space.
  • Dimmers can be helpful in some spaces. In nurseries, dimmers can be helpful during those times when mom needs to come check on the baby. Consider adding dimmers to every light switch in your home.
  • Wall sconces can shed light on art work in kid’s rooms.  Sconces are just for your living room and hall way! Consider adding sconces to the wall in your child’s room. Perhaps you want to display artwork or pictures from when your child was an infant.  Wall sconces can add a dramatic touch to the space and also help light the area.

Listed above are 12 lighting tips that will help you to set the perfect mood in your child’s room.  Allow lighting to transform the room by choosing fixtures that match the theme of the space.  From trendy lamp shades to wall sconces, the lighting options are endless.  How will you choose to shed light on your child’s space?

Choose an Environmentally Friendly Floor for Your Child’s Room

If you are just about to have a new addition to your family, you need to prepare a room that will suit your new child’s needs. One thing that is very important is what material will be covering the floor of the room.

A child spends considerably more time making close contact with the floor as they go about the development cycle of increased mobility. Their hands will be used to help them get from one end of the room to the other and they will crawl around in an effort to discover every nook and cranny within their territory. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to cover the child’s room with something that is both comfortable to move about on and does not contain any known toxins.

American studies have indicated that indoor pollution can reach levels that are two to five times greater than anything found

If you are just about to have a new addition to your family, you need to prepare a room that will suit your new child’s needs. One thing that is very important is what material will be covering the floor of the room.

A child spends considerably more time making close contact with the floor as they go about the development cycle of increased mobility. Their hands will be used to help them get from one end of the room to the other and they will crawl around in an effort to discover every nook and cranny within their territory. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to cover the child’s room with something that is both comfortable to move about on and does not contain any known toxins.

Carpet Choices

American studies have indicated that indoor pollution can reach levels that are two to five times greater than anything found outdoors. A large number of these pollutants saturate the air when new carpets or floors are installed which include the products benzene and formaldehyde, which are known carcinogens and can take many years to completely break down. Other sources of toxins are brought in from outside and can become trapped in a carpet’s fibers which often lead to allergic reactions.

If you have decided that it is more comfortable for your child’s room to have carpets laid then there is a choice of green environmentally non-toxic carpets available on the market. You could select one that has been sealed so that gases from the carpet’s fibers are unable to escape into the surrounding air. Even with regular cleaning these green carpets will not let off any toxic vapours.

Carpets manufactured from natural fibers with hardly any chemical treatment are also available widely and are quite competitively priced. These are often made from sea grass, different sorts of jute or natural sisal and have a low toxicity. Woollen carpets, which have been made from natural or vegetable-dyed yarn with only the smallest amount of natural rubber glue, used to help to bond the yarn. It would not be very environmentally friendly to purchase carpets containing nylon as this is derived from petroleum products and could be quite toxic to your child’s health.

If your home is well insulated or the climate is quite balanced year round then there are some good eco-friendly choices when it comes to finding a lining or covering for your child’s floor. ard

Bamboo Flooring

Hardwood flooring is quite popular and much of it these days is certified to have come from a sustainable forest resource, which is being regenerated. However, for a child’s comfort level especially when a child is young and might trip or fall over when learning to walk it is a good idea to at least add a few environmentally friendly natural fiber mats to cushion the blow from the tumble.

Cork is a softwood, which is a good alternative to a hardwood and has a certain amount of natural elasticity, which increases its comfort level. This as a flooring material is particularly durable and recovers well if children’s toys are constantly dragged, bounced and scraped across its surface. The cork material is produced from the bark of the cork oak tree, which only takes three years to regenerate.

Bamboo is becoming increasingly common as a green flooring choice and is surprisingly durable, especially as it is not a tree but a type of sturdy grass. It lasts a long period of time and holds out well compared to more customarily used hardwood floors. The flooring material naturally resists the effects of water, insects and mould, and its abundance and speedy growth cycle makes it an excellent green option for a child’s bedroom. There are no toxins to worry about either.

When the time has come to make a decision about the type of flooring or floor covering then seeking out the non-toxic environment friendly way will help to protect your child’s health in years to come.

6 Tips for Bringing New Life to Your Child’s Room

Parents want to provide the very best for their children. Providing for your children means making their childhood the best it can be. A room makeover can be the perfect, inexpensive gift to your child.

Bring new life to your child’s room while still saving money with these 6 tips.

Wall Art

1. Pillows and Pictures

If you are at a loss for decorating ideas go to your favorite, local retailer or website and pick out a couple objects with color and detail.

Choosing a multi-colored object is better than a single paint swatch. You should be able to come up with several creative ideas based on the color, scheme and shape of the object you choose.

2. Crafts and Handmade Items

Take a trip to the craft store and you will find endless ideas for your child’s room. Whether you have a baby or an older child, using crafts as decoration can give the room a personal touch and it doesn’t have to cost a lot.

Most craft stores sell small sew and stuff kits with dolls, animals and flowers. These kits are easy to use even if you can’t sew a button.

Build a mobile for your child using these sewn crafts, ribbon or string, and a colorful coat hanger. Buy larger sew and stuff kits to make pillows for your child’s bed or mount your crafts on poster board to frame.

3. Furniture Rearranging

Sometimes a simple rearrangement of furniture is enough to bring life back in to a room. Start by organizing cabinets, dressers and closets.

Make your child’s bed the centerpiece of the room, not on the same wall as the door, but visible from the doorway. Add a variety of lighting. This is easy with different colored light bulbs and lamps.

Use pink or peach light bulbs for warm lighting in the evening. Take out the television and computer to make it a quieter space. Clean out the clutter by giving some of your child’s unused toys and clothing to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

Simply rearranging your child’s room will make it feel like a new space, especially to them.

4. Focal Point Art

Create a focal point in the room. The best way to do this economically is by buying a large canvas or a poster board that can be framed later.

You don’t have to be an artist to create this art. Simply draw a large circle or other shape and paint it several different colors, or make an abstract piece with your child’s help using glitter, matte or glossy craft paint.

Hang it above your child’s bed to create a headboard, put it above and behind an existing headboard, or add it to another large wall in the room. Be sure to match the art with the comforter, wall color, and other art in the room to avoid a confusing, busy theme.

5. Colorful Decals

Decals come in so much more than princess and trains now. You can buy full length flowers, butterflies, trees, animals, poems, and even headboard decals.

These are safe for most types of interior wall paint, so they will not ruin paint in any way. Put flowers blooming out of your daughter’s baseboards, trees overhanging the dresser, and sweet sayings over her bed.

For boys, create a transportation theme with cars, planes, and trains, or a sports theme with his favorite players and sports emblems.

Watermelon Stripe Bedding

6. New Bedding

Perhaps one of the more simple ideas for bringing life back in your child’s room is new bedding.

It is fairly inexpensive and it can create an entirely new theme. Take the room from babyish teddy bears to Legos, race cars, or anything else your child loves.

Throw pillows also make nice additions to a child’s bed and can replace the teddy bears if your child is feeling too old for them.

Bringing life back in to your child’s room is easy and inexpensive. Start out with a color in mind and go from there.

Even if you don’t feel like you are very creative or artsy, a room makeover doesn’t have to be a big chore. Simply looking at your surroundings can provide you with infinite ideas for a brand new room.

 

Interesting Ways to Decorate a Child’s Door

Let’s face it: Decorating a child’s room is a lot of fun. When you are decorating a regular room so much emphasis is put on fashion and style; so much so that you often substitute comfort. That’s typically not the case with a child’s room. Yes you want it to look nice on the off chance one of your friends might poke their head in; but ultimately the room should excite your child and make them feel at home.

Luckily there is a whole industry geared around decorating for children. From paints to cabinet makers, there really isn’t an idea you might have that a product hasn’t already been developed for. Those of you who have been through the child’s room decoration programme before will know how easy it is to find wallpaper, bedding, fittings and fixtures.

However the stumbling block in most cases is the door. It’s always left plain, nobody knows what to do with it, maybe put a name or coat hanger on it? Which is why; we have gone out of our way to provide you with a list of interesting and fun ways to decorate your little ones door. Some of these ideas are so good you may find yourself applying them throughout the house.

1. Door Wallpaper

Door Wallpaper

I know the name is contradictory but these interesting designs are printed on opaque white fabric and can be applied with wallpaper paste or a less permanent adhesive (if renting). Some of the designs such as the castle and bookcase would be pretty perfect for any Harry Potter or fantasy lover.

2. Paint

Door Paint

We know how it goes. After finishing the whole room the last thing you want to do is pull the paintbrush out and decorate the door. But painting the inside of the door can really transform a room. More often than not you will have some left over paint laying around, it doesn’t have to be a scene from a cartoon or their favourite character – often simple colour combinations will look great. It is very cost efficient too!

3. Stickers

Door Stickers

Door stickers don’t have to be the eyesore which we all know they can be. We know; when you think of stickers you think of tens of free playing card variations applied randomly over every flat surface available. This is often unavoidable, but there are alternatives. Full size door stickers can be very tasteful and often really tie in the interior theme you were going for.

4. Stencils

Door Stencils

If picking up a brush and painting Shrek freehand doesn’t come easy for you, do not fear. For you and I there are some brilliant stencils available which will ensure professional looking designs, every time. There really is no end to the stencils available and if you are feeling creative enough you could always make your own out of some think card and your favourite designs.

5. Glow in the Dark Stickers / Transfers

Glow in the Dark Stickers

What kid’s room is complete without something that glows in the dark? I know we already mentioned stickers but the glow in the dark variety area completely different beast. Hardly visible during daylight hours these stickers really can transform a door or entire room at night and also make bedtime that little bit more interesting.