We all want the very best for our children, especially when it comes to their health and well-being.
It’s concerning for parents that children now spend up to an average of 90% of their time indoors and a large proportion of that is sleeping, playing or doing homework in their bedrooms.
That’s why when we design bedrooms specifically for kids we take a lot of care to consider the many factors that affect their heath and well-being including air quality, lighting, connection and play.
Have you considered whether the design of your child’s bedroom is supporting their physical and mental health? Whether you have or not, we’re here to help you provide the perfect environment for your child!
Find out more below with our ultimate guide to designing and creating a wellness bedroom for kids!
1. Is Your Child Breathing Low Quality Air In Their Bedroom?
The first thing we would recommend for any child’s room is that you invest in an air quality monitor.
Depending on their age, children spend up to 12 hours sleeping. So not only is the bedroom a place where exposure to poor air quality could be most affecting them, it’s also the place where you have most control.
Poor air quality could be affecting their sleep patterns, contributing to asthma, irritation to eyes nose and throat or causing tiredness and concentration problems. For example, coughing in the morning specifically could be related to the air quality in their bedroom. It has even been suggested that poor air qaulity can affect IQ.
A really good air quality monitor will give you the information you need to start making changes as it pinpoints the causes of poor air quality such as a combination of dust, CO2, temperature, humidity, PM2.5.
2. If the Air Quality is Bad What Do I do About It?
There are several different approaches to improving air quality if you find that it’s poor.
Ventilation is always essential to keep new air circulating into the room and removing stale air; this can be done by opening windows regularly and letting new air inside. Do this on low pollution days outside.
If you’re doing more substantial work then creating a carbon-filtered fresh air supply from a duct system is also an option.
Controlling humidity is also an essential element as condensation in a room will cause mould and this can be one of the main causes of breathing problems. Relative humidity should be 30-50%.
These problems can be dealt with through an integrated system or via stand-alone air purification and dehumidification systems.
If using a stand-alone air purifier for a small bedroom of 300 sq ft or less, take a look at this blog that covers the best air purifiers for bedrooms in 2019. We particularly like the Levoit Vista 200.
We also love the The HealthPro series from IQAir, although the 250 is somewhat bulky for a stand alone filter and may need to be kept on a low setting for sleeping to avoid noise.
3. Designing For Easy Dusting
Shelves and their contents can collect a lot of dust, which can exacerbate allergies and breathing problems. Try to avoid open shelves near the head of the bed.
The same goes for open baskets on shelves or drawers under the bed, if you can, get containers that are covered so that any toys and clothing you’re storing do not become dust traps and the tops can be easily wiped clean.
Fitted carpets also accumulate dust and mould spores. The best option is to have hard flooring with a central rug instead to create a softer feel and for sitting on the floor to play. Rugs can be easily cleaned and have the dust shaken out regularly.
4. Choose Non-Toxic Kids Furniture
Some varnishes, adhesives and paints can be very high in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) that give off unhealthy fumes into the bedroom, particularly in small rooms there can be a build up of these pollutants over time.
Composite wood can also be a source of gases that leak into the air, make sure any furniture is free from formaldehyde.
Painting your child’s walls in fun colors can be one of the most personalizing and inspiring ways to add character to a room! Definitely have some fun with the color but make sure you use paint with zero VOC’s to make sure the walls don’t gradually emit (or off-gas) into the room.
Try not to leave plastic toys out in the sunshine, plastics can off-gas chemicals when they come into contact with heat. We suggest wooden toys instead or plastic toys that avoid PVC, BPA and Phthalates.
5. Natural Cleaning Reduces The Risks Of Chemical Products
Use natural cleaning products in your child’s bedroom, often you won’t need more than a few simple ingredients to make them or buy from your local health shop.
A damp cloth can often be enough for dusting. Many cleaning products can smell ‘fresh’ but contain unhealthy chemicals that can cause reactions.
Do not use air fresheners or aerosols in your childs bedroom as these also contain chemicals that negatively affect your kids’ health.
6. A Good Nights Sleep For Them & You!
The best nights sleep is always a natural sleep! So we recommend natural organic cotton or linen bedding to regulate body temperature. Organic materials are also free from any toxic residues from pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and dying chemicals. They are hypoallergenic, reducing microbes and spores that can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
Avoid man-made synthetic duvets and pillows and opt for natural alternatives, especially if you have chemical sensitivities. Hospitality quality goose down from a cruelty free source are luxurious, light and comfortable.
Of course a great nights sleep for your little one will be helped with complete blackout window coverings.
7. Lighting Choices For Kids Wellness
Well thought through lighting is essential for creating the right ambience for the different needs of a kid’s bedroom.
A good option would be to go for a central ceiling light for play with a specific light for reading.
Reading lights should be placed in the reading area, by the bedside or reading corner. This should be a softer light that aids relaxation so make sure that the bulb in the reading light has a warm temperature. Reading lamps often come with a cool light color temperature that can make it hard to sleep after reading.
A small warm temperature low night-light is good for night waking.
If your child is at school then they may also need a specific light for homework at their desk.
8. Reduce The Risks of EMF
Exposure to electromagnetic fields is a concern for many parents, especially those with babies. We are seeing our clients opting for wired in baby monitors rather than wifi options to limit exposure to EMF in babies’ rooms.
You should not have your wifi router in your child’s bedroom; this should be as far away from bedrooms as it is possible to locate it.
9. Connection For Growing Minds
Connection to their surroundings is essential for children to feel a sense of freedom and independence. When designing for a kids room it’s a good idea to have low book shelves that they can easily access on their own.
Connection to nature is essential for our children to connect with our planet, so you could bring in some plants to make the space greener. To encourage responsibility and nurturing perhaps they can even be in charge of keeping the plants fed and watered!
Nature sound journeys are also a great way to connect during quiet play moments or set the mood at bedtime. White noise such as waves and rainfall are very restful, soundscapes of jungles or birdsong can raise energy levels.
Curating a gallery wall of family photos and meaningful positive artwork personalizes the space for a child and gives them a sense of security. Place at your child’s eyelevel to make it easier for them to interact with it.
10. Homework Stations For Health & Productivity
Our children begin their journey with homework very early and its essential that we get them working at a desk space in a healthy way.
Ergonomically designed desks and chairs that can be adapted as they grow are a great way to do this. Efficient storage space for books and stationary supplies along with homework lighting are also essential to create the right atmosphere for productivity.
11. Playing Helps Development
Play is also an essential part of kids connecting with the spaces around them.
Toys can also be stored low to the ground so that they are easily able to access them, taking them out and putting away themselves (if they’re really well trained!).
Organizing toys into types (cars, animals, dinosaurs, Lego) using drawers designed to contain pull out boxes or internal separators makes running with a new idea for play easier.
A wipeable area on the wall with chalks or water-based pens is great fun for small children. Magnetic walls are also a great way to display artwork.
A chill out or relaxing area such as a tent or nook for kids enhances their imagination, physical development and socializing time.
12. Have Lots of Fun Designing Your Kids Bedroom!
As we all know, our children have strong personalities from a very young age. Choosing colors for their room that suit your child is a good way to include them in the design process.
Cool colors are good for creating a calming space; warmer colors can be more energizing. It really depends what suits them.
If you want to create lots of personality in a bedroom but don’t want to commit to wallpaper then decals can be a really adaptable way of decorating the walls.
We hope this has given you some inspiration for your kids bedroom! If you have any questions about our healthy and eco approach to well-being please do get in touch, or take a look at our recent blog posts and projects for more tips.
For futher information on EMF exposure follow this link to our blog.
To learn more about how lighting can affect our health and wellbeing take a look at this blog.
“Quality is Always Sustainable”