5 Child Home Safety Construction Tips
Although some home renovations will force you and your family out of your home, many remodeling projects can be conducted while the family is in residence. This is good news since you probably don’t want to uproot your family and pay through the nose to live in a hotel for several weeks while construction is underway. Even kitchen and bathroom makeovers can be done while you’re living in the house, supposing there are no structural issues or other health and safety concerns. You’ll just have to steer clear of the areas you’ve decided to update, and you might have to eat out a lot. That said, you may be a bit worried about the relative safety of your children when portions of your house are under construction, and rightly so. Here are just a few tips to help ensure that nothing unfortunate befalls your kids in the process of upgrading your home.
- Seal off construction areas. Any time construction is underway in your home you’ll want to make sure the area is sealed off from the rest of the house, preferably with heavy-duty drop cloths or neoprene. This won’t stop the noise from reaching you, but it should contain the majority of dust and debris generated in the process to the section of the house that is being remodeled. Since kids are often more sensitive to allergens like dust and they may experience respiratory issues or skin irritation as a result of exposure, it’s best to ask contractors to seal off the work area. If they can use a separate entrance that doesn’t require them to trek through the rest of the house, that’s even better.
- Clean frequently. Despite your best efforts at containment, you’ll no doubt find that the side effects of construction spill out into your living space in the form of dust and possibly debris related to demolition and building. While you can certainly dust or vacuum daily when your construction crew knocks off, you should also take special care to look for potentially hazardous items like nails and screws that can roll around on the floor, attracting the attention of a baby or toddler.
- Use air purifiers. You might be worried about keeping the house clean, but don’t forget the air quality. Just because particulates float unseen through the air doesn’t mean they can’t pose a risk to your children (and you, for that matter). Air purifiers will help to pull potentially harmful particles from the air so that nobody in your family has to breathe them in.
- Install gates. Small children are prone to wander any time you’ve got your back turned and it’s only natural that they would be interested in what’s going on in a section of the house they used to have access to. And if you think that a thin sheet of neoprene is going to stop a curious toddler you’d better think again. For this reason you might want to take measures to keep tiny tots contained, whether that means locking doors, installing gates, or confining your kids to a baby play yard for the duration of construction.
- Create an exit strategy. You never know what might happen during construction so you want to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. For example, contractors might knock down a wall and discover mold, asbestos, dry rot, or any number of other health and safety hazards. So before you start, make a plan to stay with family or friends or find a by-the-month lease building with availability as a temporary solution in the event that you need to make a hasty exit from your home.
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