As a parent, you strive to keep your children safe and healthy. It begins long before the baby is even born. As you set about getting the nursery ready, you face so many decisions. Not all are simple ones like selecting the right color for the walls. Everything that goes into the nursery – from the paint to the furniture – has to be safe for your baby.
Why Is Indoor Air Quality so Important?
Unfortunately, environmental pollutants can sneak in even though your home looks clean to the eyes. In recent years, indoor air quality has become a significant concern for parents. It may come as a surprise to you but the air inside your home may be more polluted than the air outside!
The chemical pollutants come from products and materials that we use every day like furniture, building materials, and even cleaning solutions. These materials emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can negatively affect your baby’s health.
Poor ventilation also contributes to the problem of indoor air quality. Most homes are sealed and insulated against the outside air to minimize energy costs. As a consequence, heating and cooling systems recirculate the same air in all the rooms. It means that VOCs remain inside the house, posing problems.
Keep the Pollutants Out
The best way to improve the air quality is to keep pollutants out in the first place. The nursery should be a low VOC environment to protect your little one’s health. Babies don’t have developed immune and neurological systems like adults. So VOCs that are only mildly irritating for you can cause significant problems for newborns. This is even more true for babies who are prone to breathing ailments like asthma.
Painting is the first step in creating a nursery for your child. The right paint for the nursery should be water-based and as non-toxic as possible. Try to avoid primers as they contain a lot of chemicals. When selecting colors, look for brands that produce low VOC or no VOC paints. Many reputed manufacturers have such options. Low VOC paints are a good idea for any room in the house and not just the nursery.
But it’s not as easy to find out if furniture is low VOC or not. With hundreds of manufacturers making so many baby products, how do you know which ones are safe? Can you be certain that the cute crib you bought will not harm your child’s health?
Greenguard and Greenguard Gold Certification
This is the kind of situation where third-party certification can help. The Greenguard Environmental Institute is an independent organization that certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions. Products that are certified by Greenguard have to meet stringent standards and emission limits for indoor use.
In 2005, the organization launched a second certification aimed at the air quality in schools, daycares and other areas where children spend most of their time. As you might expect, the emission limits for this certification are even more stringent. You can rest assured that any product with the Greenguard Gold certification will not emit significant chemical compounds into the air. These products are the perfect choice for a nursery!
Greenguard Gold Certified Products
Before you buy furniture for your nursery, check if the products are Greenguard Gold certified. Not all baby products carry this certification. Natart Juvenile is one of the few companies whose entire product range is certified to be low VOC. All beds, cribs and other nursery furniture by Natart Juvenile use low VOC materials and solid wood to minimize emissions.
Pressed wood furniture often contains chemicals (like formaldehyde) that emit VOCs into the air. Solid wood furniture does not have such chemicals making them a safer alternative. Antique pieces are also a good option as long as they don’t have lead paint on them.
Crib mattresses can also contain harmful chemicals like flame retardants that emit VOCs. Your baby will spend most of their time in a crib, so selecting the right mattress is important. Greenguard certified mattresses, like those made by Natart, are guaranteed to be low-emitting. You can check the online Greenguard database to verify a product’s certification claims.
Setting up a safe and healthy nursery can be nerve-racking. Fortunately, Greenguard certification helps make that process a little easier!