Parents have a lot of responsibilities, but the most important one is taking care of their children’s safety and health. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of things we can do about that when they are outside the environment where we are in control. However, when it comes to our homes, there are a lot of steps that can be taken to make them as safe as they should be. You’d be surprised to know just how many areas of your home can be improved to create a better environment to grow up in. Here are some tips for doing that.
#1. Prevent injuries and falls
Every year, thousands of kids get injured in their homes by tripping, slipping and falling. We all know that it is important to baby-proof the house when the new baby arrives, but it is also crucial to maintain the house safe for toddlers and school kids too. Here are some things you can do:
- Install window bars or window stops to prevent kids from tumbling out of the window.
- Use anti-slipping rug pads.
- Install baby gates at the top and the bottom of the stairs.
- Cushion the edges and corners of the furniture.
#2. Take care of the air pollution
We associate air pollution with the outdoor space, but indoor air pollution is also a problem, especially for kids. Children are more sensitive to the effects of polluted air because they breathe more rapidly than adults and inhale more pollutants. There are several sources of air pollution each house may have, including chemicals in the materials (e.g. formaldehyde), and volatile organic compounds usually found in paints and mold. These are some steps to take to clear the indoor air:
- Use low or no-VOC paints.
- Test your home for radon and other harmful gases.
- Choose furniture made of organic materials (e.g. natural wood, bamboo, cork).
- Ventilate your house often.
- Prevent mold and mildew by keeping the humidity levels reasonable.
- Introduce air purifiers in the rooms where kids spend the most time (e.g. living room and their bedroom).
- Decorate with air-purifying indoor plants.
- Vacuum and dust often to minimize the number of dust mites.
#3. Avoid cleaning with toxic chemicals
Cleaning the house means getting rid of the harmful dirt, in most cases. However, cleaning the house with most of the available commercial products means that you will expose your family to toxins that can get into their organism via the skin and respiratory system, sometimes even the digestive system if the chemicals are found in dishwashing products. Many of the conventional cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals such as phthalates, triclosan and ammonia. Instead of using them, you can clean your house with organic cleaning products or prepare your own all-natural cleansers using ingredients like lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar.
#4. Make sure the drinking water is healthy
Drinking contaminated water can have a lot of bad effects on one’s health. Although most cities are obligated to test the quality of their drinking water, the minimal amount of pollutants can pile up in the organism over time and affect the development of chronic health issues. One of the ways to protect your kids from such an outcome is boiling the drinking water, but even though boiling kills bacteria and pathogens, it can’t do anything if the pollution is chemical. Some water disinfection systems also contain chemicals and can affect the taste, smell and quality of the water. The best solution is a reliable UV water system that is chemical-free and efficient.
#5. Ban pests
Cockroaches, mice, ants and other insects and pests are not only annoying, but they can also jeopardize the health of your family. The usual solutions to get rid of them are packed with dangerous chemicals. Prevention is, therefore, better than the cure. Keep your home clean (especially the kitchen), seal off crevices in your walls and floors and weather-strip your windows and doors.
#6. Prevention and preparation
You probably already noticed that the secret of a safe home lies in prevention, which is why it is imperative to maintain it properly. Don’t delay necessary repairs, such as fixing the roof or a hole in the floor. Clean and inspect your chimney before the heating season. Make sure your wiring isn’t exposed and that it doesn’t present a fire or tripping hazard. Speaking of fires, be prepared for it by having a smoke alarm in each room and a fire extinguisher on each floor. Accidents happen, and while in some cases you can’t do anything to prevent them, in your home, you have the power to keep your dearest ones safe and healthy.
Written By Derek Lotts. He is an open source project manager for some GitHub projects related to environmental protection and sustainable energy. Also, he is an Advisory Editor at Smooth Decorator, DIY enthusiast, Specialist in various topics in home improvement.