Safely Lighting Your Child’s Room

As kids grow, they like to learn about the world around them through their sense of touch or taste. That’s fine as long as everything around them is soft, cool and edible, but when their surroundings turn hot and hard, they can injure themselves or damage items in their room without even trying. Cool styles are not the only goal when you plan the lighting in your child’s room. Safety should be paramount as you think through how you will light Junior’s bedroom.

How Safety Changes as Your Child Ages

As children grow older and become more active, the next set of safety concerns will become the durability of their room’s lights and how well they can be protected from pillow fights, impromptu wrestling matches and extended sessions of ball tossing.

Questions to Ask as You Plan Your Lighting Scheme

Here are several safety considerations to include in planning the lighting scheme for your child’s bedroom:

1. What material will the lights be made of? Should you choose glass or plastic? Should some light be shatterproof? Do all lights need to be made of more expensive, yet safer, materials? Are there any parts of a light that a child can try to put in his mouth? Many decorators recommend mini pendant lighting or ceiling lights to keep bulbs and other materials out of little children’s mouths.

2. Can you protect the lights in the room from flying elbows and wayward projectiles? Do some of the lights need covers or to be recessed? Most parents rule out floor lamps for this reason. It can be quite easy for children to knock over such lamps and create an immediate fire hazard.


Picture 1: Many parents avoid floor lamps in kid’s room

3. Are the lights that you set up hot to the touch? If so, which ones should not be? Desk lamps should never get too hot; neither should lights that will be near plastic toys and toy boxes, children’s heads as they read, etc. Opt for LED or CFL bulbs that will never become hot to the touch in these cases. Safety trumps cost with this consideration in mind.

4. Are the lights bright enough to see small toys and other knick knacks on the floor of your child’s room? This desire for elevated brightness represents a different type of safety concern.

5. Do you need wattage at night that is somewhere between the tiny night light and the wasteful hall light left on all night in case your child comes out of his room? Consider installation of an LED foot light. These lights can illuminate an entire floor if necessary to give your child the comfort s/he needs as s/he falls asleep, as well as enough light to see the way out of the room, if needed.

Giving your children’s rooms special lighting is a nice way to communicate how much you love them and how special they are to you. As part of your planning, however, don’t forget safety considerations that could save their lives. You want to think that your children will always be under your supervision, but life intervenes. Plan your small child’s bedroom lighting by approaching it as if you were 2 years old and wanted to put everything in your mouth for a quick taste. For older children, plan your lighting schemes as if you were going to fly across the room and hit everything in your path, because your older children will find a way to do just that!

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