Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - When there’s a little one on the way, certain small steps can make a big difference. Here are a few hints on helping to keep the nursery safe and secure from industry expert Sally Morse:

The crib: See to the slats. They should all be there, spaced no more than 2⅜ inches apart. The National Institutes of Health advises using a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib covered by a fitted sheet. Be sure that nothing covers the baby’s head and that the mattress support is securely attached to the headboard and footboard. Drop-sided cribs are no longer recommended.

Toys: Keep them fun—and out of the crib. The AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics says nothing should go into the crib but the crib sheet and the baby. Toys should not have strings or cords that dangle or any parts small enough for a baby to swallow.

High chair: Be sure it has restraining straps with buckles that are easy to fasten and unfasten independently of the tray, which should lock securely. The chair needs a wide base for stability.

Playpen: Don’t mess with the mesh. Playpen mesh should be securely attached to the top rail and floor plate and have a small weave of less than ¼ inch openings, with no tears or loose threads. The top rails should lock automatically when lifted for normal use.

Changing table: Parents and babies tend to spend a lot of time here. It should have safety straps to prevent falls, and easily accessible drawers or shelves so you don’t have to leave the baby unattended.

Windows: Any above the first floor need guards with quick-release features for emergencies. Locks that limit the opening size let you get ventilation.

The windows should also provide a serene environment with soft incoming light. One way is with Silhouette window shadings or Duette honeycomb shades from Hunter Douglas. These treatments have two fabric layers so light is filtered and diffused to eliminate harsh glare and shadows. The shades can also dim the light for daytime naps. They come in dozens of colors to coordinate with the wall color or the trim.

Whatever window fashion you have, make sure it doesn’t have accessible cords that young children can get entangled in. Hunter Douglas has many options that eliminate lift cords or substantially reduce access to them. The company’s LiteRise cordless system is available with a wide variety of product styles.

For more information, visit www.hunterdouglas.com/safety, call (800) 99SAFTY ( (800) 997-2389) or find them on Facebook.

• Hunter Douglas Inc., the leading manufacturer of custom window fashions in North America, is a national sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, covering windows in every Habitat home.