Remodeling with your soon-to-be-born baby in mind
If you are expecting, you should consider taking some measures to improve home’s safety for a baby. In this article, you can find some home remodeling tips and fix ups to make your house ready to welcome your new child.
Removing toxic elements and materials
Some old houses still have lead-based paints, so you should get rid of all of it with a new paint job with no-VOC paints. Also throw away toxic house cleaners and solvents, and switch to natural based non-toxic option for good.
It’s also a great opportunity to recheck your whole house insulation and upgrade to a more eco-friendly green option. Even if your current insulation is not toxic per se, some old materials favors the apparition of mold and should also need to be replaced.
And then, do the proper maintenance to the air ventilation system or upgrade to a modern and more effective unit to keep indoor air pure and healthy. If not done already, take this opportunity to do a Radon testing of the building.
Remember that a baby is developing an immune system, and invisible but toxic substances and mold account for most of indoor allergies and asthma in children.
Upgrade your monitor systems
Change the plain smoke detectors to more advanced smoke, gases and particle detectors. There are also smart detectors that send an alarm to your mobile when the air quality shifts, way before there is a visible -or sniffable- threat.
Remember to install one in every level, and extra units in more dangerous areas like garages, kitchen or furnace room.
This might sound extreme, but fasten furniture to walls is something you must consider. Secure bookcases, TV stands and dresses so they cannot be pulled down on top of your baby. If you have any other piece of furniture that could easily be pulled over, go ahead and restrain it.
Also use safety latches on cabinets and doors and apply protective padding to cover sharp edges and corners, such as from a coffee table or fireplace hearth.
Block power outlets and secure wires
Make a thorough scan in the whole house and cover all unused electrical outlet with safety plug protectors. Pay special attention to areas where your toddler won’t be expected to visit, like master bedroom, bathroom or over countertop in kitchen because they present a greater risk.
Fasten and hide all the cords out of the reach of a baby and ask your electrician to check that the electrical installation is up to date with all the security measures.
Turn down water temperature and cover radiators
Most water heaters are set much higher than they need to be, and you just end adding more cold water, but in case of infants can result in serious burns because their skin is way more sensitive. You should keep your water at 110º F when a baby is around, and never hotter than 125º F.
The next thing that can cause skin burns are radiators, so you might consider put a protection around them to avoid your kid to reach and touch them.
Reduce other hazards
Carefully evaluate the small objects and decor that could be reachable for a toddler and move them up or get rid of them for good. Objects that easily can pass through the center of a toilet paper roll might cause choking. Also change rubber tips from doorstops for one-piece door stops.
Install safety gates at the bottom and top of stairwells or to block entry to unsafe areas. Keep front, back and garage door always locked before the baby arrives to make the habit.
Think about family pets and how they might adapt to the new family member. You might consider build them an outside safe pet house -out of reach of the toddlers- to give both them and you some peace when baby is around.
There are many steps you should take to improve your house to a new baby, and this will evolve as the kid grows up. Is there a baby in your home? Care to share with us any other child-proof measure? Leave it in the comments below :)