The home your children grow up in should be a safe place — a space where they are protected from harm. As a mother, there are so many variables that you continuously want to control; unfortunately, you can’t control them all.
However, having a healthy and safe home is critical for your child’s safety and development, not to mention yours as well.
Too many children get hurt at home or sick from issues that could have been prevented. While not everything can be child-proofed, not every accident avoided, and not every injury stopped, there are various steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of accidents occurring.
Before you feel too overwhelmed by all the potential dangers, here are nine ways to ensure your child is living in a truly safe home.
1. Protect your home from daily pollutants.
Daily pollutants are everywhere, and they can be incredibly harmful to all parts of your body, damaging you and your babies’ well-being in the long run.
Ensure you are using an air purifier in your home to protect your family from the abundance of outdoor pollutants. These devices have a fan that pulls in the dirty air at one end, before dumping the contaminants to deliver clean air.
2. Serve your children organic food and drink.
Organic food is having a significant impact on the health of families around the world, as more and more mothers realize the benefits of feeding their children diets that comprise of plants grown organically, with natural fertilizers.
In addition to ensuring they have their five fruits and vegetables a day, the meat they eat should also be sourced from places that don’t feed their animals with chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or pesticides.
If you are looking to have fish for dinner, opt for cod, salmon and pollack, instead of tuna, sea bass and swordfish. However, any fish should be wild-caught instead of farm-raised to decrease any possible mercury vulnerability.
3. Ensure your water quality is safe.
No matter where you live, there is a high likelihood that your water contains contaminants. Whether they infiltrate your municipal water supply at its source, join during the treatment process, or sneak their way in due to your home’s pipes, they should be of grave concern to your family’s health.
In this day in age, these additives are all potential contaminants:
- Chemical runoff from factories, refineries, mining facilities, and other industries
- Microbes (including bacteria and viruses)
- Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers
- Radioactive materials
- Pharmaceuticals that weren’t correctly disposed
- Metals, salts, minerals, and other soil sediments
In order to treat your water, you can choose to utilize:
– Water filtration systems: These purify your water by confining contaminants in a filter, before absorbing or breaking down the pollutants after filtration.
Not only do water filtration systems decrease the number of contaminants in your water, but they also improve the flavor and smell.
– Reverse-osmosis systems: These systems utilize water pressure to push the water supply through a semipermeable membrane so that inorganic solids (e.g., salts) can be removed from the water.
Compared to water filtration systems, reverse-osmosis systems are capable of eliminating far more numerous and far tinier contaminants from your home’s water. The downside is that they also generate more water waste during the process.
– UV light treatment: By utilizing UV light treatment, you can be assured that the DNA of any bacteria in your water is eliminated. The most powerful of the three options, UV light treatment has the ability to kill bacteria, viruses and other microbes.
– Bioremediation: This technology restores polluted soil and water. At its core, bioremediation is a waste management process that employs live organisms to neutralize or eliminate toxic pollutants from contaminated areas.
One of the biggest benefits of bioremediation is the fact that it utilizes nature to mend nature. It is undoubtedly the safest and least invasive soil and groundwater cleanup possible.
There is no denying that in order for you and your children to maintain good health, you must be consuming clean, safe water. After all, you cook, clean and drink with it every single day.
4. Keep their clothes free of irritants.
There is no denying that children make the loads of laundry increase exponentially. However, you need to pay attention to the type of detergent you are using to tackle these piles.
As a rule of thumb, due to their highly sensitive skin, babies and children should not be wearing clothes that have been washed in highly scented detergents. Using a highly scented soap often triggers allergies, especially for newborns.
Additionally, only use fabric softeners that are non-irritating for sensitive skin.
5. Keep the bugs out.
Very few people enjoy having mice, cockroaches, ants and other pests in their home, but you may not be thinking about the health threats they also pose.
In fact, especially for children, these pesticides contaminate the air and spaces you occupy and can significantly raise the chances of developing neurological problems and cancer.
To protect your home against these pests, block off cracks and holes in your floors and walls, weather-strip all doors and windows, and make sure your kitchen is always fresh and clear of food particles.
If the problem gets really bad and you have no choice but to employ pesticides, then only purchase (and use) the smallest amount possible, and opt for gels rather than sprays.
6. Baby-proof the kitchen.
Your home’s kitchen can have some of the highest risks of danger for your child. In order to keep this area safe, consider gating the area so that your child can’t enter without you.
Additionally, take measures to ensure that cabinets filled with toxic products (such as drain openers, automatic dishwasher detergents and furniture polish) are closed with a childproof lock. Your dishwasher should also always be locked so that no one confuses the detergent for food.
Microwaves, refrigerators, cutlery and small appliances must be out of reach or secured, and a stove guard utilized when not in use.
In the kitchen, you can’t be too careful. Your child should not be able to pull on anything, or reach something and be able to burn themselves.
7. Monitor for carbon dioxide.
Too many homes don’t have carbon dioxide monitors, which is unfortunate as the effects can be deadly. Carbon dioxide is colorless and odorless, ensuring that you and your family can’t sense if it is present. If low to moderate levels of it enter your home, they can cause symptoms similar to the flu.
However, as these levels increase, and you and your children get further exposure, the damaging effects can stop oxygen from getting to your heart and brain, and you will be poisoned.
In addition to having a carbon monoxide monitor, also ensure that your fuel-burning appliances (those that use coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane and natural gas) are working correctly.
And, each year, have your heating system, chimney and flues inspected.
8. Be equipped for fire.
While everyone is at risk if there is a fire, children are much more likely to have a fatality as they don’t know how to escape on their own.
For this reason, no matter where you live or what you live in, you must have a working smoke alarm on every floor and in every bedroom, as well as in your basement, and outside if you have them.
Each month, test the alarms. You will be incredibly thankful you did should you ever need to use them.
9. Educate your children through example.
From the earliest age, children learn how to live by observing what the adults around them do. Even if they are not yet able to comprehend what you are saying, or even the reasons behind your actions, they will absorb your daily activities.
For this reason, you want to educate them on how to maintain and preserve a safe and healthy home and world. They should learn not to throw garbage on the floor, and that recycling is vital. They should know to switch the water off when not using it, and to care for other animals and humans that live among them.
Make it a point to teach your children the necessary terms and explanations for eco-friendly living, as this will ensure these habits become second nature to them.
When you bring your child into this world, you want nothing more than to keep them safe and protected at all times. While you can’t always control what goes on outside your home, you can ensure that the space inside your four walls is the healthiest and safest place possible.
By following these tips, and regularly checking your appliances, water sanitation, and the like, you are well on your way to creating a healthy home.
What else do you do to keep and maintain a safe and healthy home? What strategies have you found that enable you to stay on top of everything? Let us know in the comments below!
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