Ensuring your home is safe for Children

As parents and responsible home owners, we do everything we can to make sure our homes are safe for our children.  Even if you do not have kids, it remains important to ensure that your property will not pose a threat to any young visitors. After all, there is nothing worse than having an accident occur in your home (whether life threatening or not) that could have been easily prevented.

The Australian Institute of Architects and Kidsafe have a safety checklist that is quite comprehensive in listing the various dangers that can exist in your home and how to address them.  I thought I would use this blog to go through some of the less obvious issues that may be present in your home and how they can be avoided. 

Poor air quality in homes can be quite problematic, with various pollutants such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide building up to unacceptable levels if air flow rates are not above a certain point.  This can lead to stuffiness and sneezing for all occupants of the home, not just children.  Opening windows (with stay locks to avoid break-ins) is one way to achieve the appropriate air flow level in your home. 

Be wary of the cords around your home, such as those hanging from blinds or electrical cords.  In the past, there have been cases of cords strangling children.

Allergens and Asthma
There are a variety of things in your home that can contain asthma-triggering allergens.  Surfaces such as carpets can harbour dust and dust mites, as can bedding.  Pets with fur (especially long hair) can also cause asthma problems. Reducing reaction-causing exposures is a wise move to avoid asthma attacks from occurring in your home.  Frequent vacuuming, dusting, washing and airing of bedding can be good first steps to take.  It may also be a good idea to restrict pets from entering bedrooms.  

Play Equipment
One loose bolt on a set of play equipment has the potential to cause some serious damage to a child.  Consider the materials you use to construct the set, with an aim to avoid sharp edges and the possibility of splinters.  Also take care to choose a soft landing material for around your play equipment set, such as a rubber floor (indoors) or pinebark or sand (outside). 

There are some very easy steps that can be taken to make sure dangerous and completely avoidable situations do not occur in your home.  I would advise all home owners, especially the owners of older homes, to consider their property implementing any changes required to make it a safer environment for inhabitants of all ages. 

Posted by Charles Tarbey on 06/12/2010 at 11:28 AM | Categories: Around the house - CENTURY 21 Solutions -


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