Rocking Chair Safety in Nurseries

It's hard to imagine that a rocking chair—often used to comfort a crying child—could pose a threat to the children playing around it. But certain types of rockers, if used incorrectly, can cause serious injury to the children in your care.

The Traditional Rocker

Traditional rocking chairs can potentially rock over a child's hand or foot as the chair rocks back and forth. Even if your nursery workers are careful, older children playing in the room may not be as cautious. In addition to rocking over a stray hand or foot, some children tend to rock the chair harder than they should and tip it over. If you use this type of chair in your nursery, place it in a separate room for mothers and babies or in a nursing mothers' room.

The Platform Rocker

Platform rocking chairs glide rather than rock. This design, however, is even more hazardous than the traditional rocking chair. Stiles (round pieces of wood at the base) create gaps where children could put their hands, arms, feet, legs, etc. Severe injury to the child occurs when the stiles go back and forth while the rocker glides. If you use these chairs in your nursery, cover the gaps between the stiles with a piece of wood or heavy cloth.

The Platform Rocker with Side Panels

Like the other platform rocker, this chair glides instead of rocks, but a solid wooden panel at the base helps to prevent injury to little arms and feet. Even if you use this type of rocking chair, encourage nursery workers to watch the children playing near the chair so it doesn't run into them while it's in motion.