These Popular Instagram Trends Have Been Deemed Dangerous For A Baby's Nursery

If you take a brief scroll through Instagram you will know there is plenty of nursery inspiration but many of the biggest style trends have now been labelled as dangerous.

According to independent consumer watchdog Choice, a number of nursery items that have been made popular by influencers with large social media followings can pose potential safety risks to newborn babies.

The findings come after the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit (VISU) discovered that 708 children were taken to emergency between 2013 and 2018 after they were injured by nursery furnishings.

Cot canopies have been deemed as dangerous due to potential for strangulation. Image: Instagram

41 per cent of these injuries happened to babies who were less than one-year-old despite parenting expert Pinky McKay noting that safe sleep recommendations state a baby should be in their parent's bedroom for the first year before being moved into a nursery.

The below items were named unsafe for a baby's nursery:

  • Wall decorations

Wall decorations shouldn't be placed above a baby's cot as they could fall in and injure them or they could tug at them, causing them to fall on them.

  • Unsecured furniture

Furniture that isn't secured, such as a book shelf or a tallboy could pose a risk if they were to fall on a baby.

  • Cots placed next to windows

Cots should not be placed next to windows as blind cords can pose as a strangulation hazard.

  • Cot canopies

Cot canopies can risk strangulation if a baby was to become intertwined in one as well as posing as a suffocation risk.

  • Fairy lights

Fairly lights can further act as a strangulation hazard.

  • Garlands and bunting

Garlands and bunting can also post as a strangulation or choking risk.

  • Pillows and throws

According to Red Nose, pillow can cause an increased risk of SIDS and babies should not sleep with a pillow until they are at least two years old. Pillows can increase the risk of suffocation and overheating, similar to the risks associated with throws.

  • Sheepskin

Sheepskin has been directly related to SIDS.

  • Cot bumpers

Cot bumpers can lead to strangulation or suffocation.

  • Sleep pods

Sleep pods, similar to cot bumpers, can pose a suffocation risk and many do not meet Australian safety standards.

  • Soft toys in the cot

Soft toys can pose as a suffocation risk.

  • Moses and wicker baskets

There is no Australian safety standards for Moses baskets and the jagged edges of a wicker basket can cause lead to injury.

According to Choice, these items can pose risks that may lead to strangulation, suffocation, SIDS and/or overheating. They can further be dangerous if they are in reach or tugging or pulling, causing the item to fall on the baby, leading to physical injury.

Items such as soft toys can also act as foothold for babies to get out of a cot and potentially injure themselves if they fall out.

Choice has advised against cot bumpers and sort toys in a baby's cot. Image: Instagram

McKay told 10 daily she agrees these items can pose potential safety hazards but taking some precautions when designing your baby's nursery can alleviate these dangers.

"If decorations and pictures are hung out of reach where they can’t potentially fall in to a cot for instance, it can be a lovely part of nesting and preparing a space for babies," she told 10 daily.

McKay said when your baby moves into their nursery, reiterating this should be after 12 months of age, she advises doing a safety check to avoid any potential hazards.

Anything a baby can pull or tug at -- such as frames above their cot -- might hurt them if it was to fall on them. Image: Instagram

While many of these items have been made popular by Instagram and influencers, McKay said that parents need to do their own research before making decisions about how they will furnish their baby's nursery.

"I think it’s important that we show safe spaces in images for parents so yes, there is a responsibility to show babies sleeping safely," McKay told 10 daily.

But it’s not only up to influencers. It is the individual parent's responsibility to create a safe nursery and do their own research too.

McKay advised that parents should check reliable sources such as Red Nose or River's Gift for useful information and if in doubt to "check with their child health nurse."

"Check that nursery products meet Australian standards for safety," McKay said, adding that Choice has done some great research in this space too.

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McKay advises asking yourself these key questions when making any purchases for your baby's nursery:

  • Could this pose a choking or breathing hazard?
  • Could my baby pull this item over their face?
  • Could they use a toy to get leverage and climb out of their cot?
  • Are they near anything that could potentially fall into the cot and create a problem?
  • Are all blind cords out of reach?

McKay said you should also try to look at things from a baby's perspective and carefully note what they could reach or what could fall onto them, as well questioning what is really necessary when it comes to decorating.

"Safety comes before decoration and simple is best," McKay said.

Featured image: Instagram