Home is where we should feel the most safe, and that goes doubly so for our kids. Our first job as parents is to make sure that there’s no place like home for our kids to grow up in. That means creating a home that will keep them both safe and healthy.
Is your home ready for little feet to be running around? Here are some of the first things you should take care of, plus some long-term projects to think about that will keep them happy and healthy as they grow.
Childproofing Your Home
The first thing you need to do is childproof everything in your home. And I do mean everything. Put childproof locks on your doors, windows, toilets, cabinets, and drawers, so kids can’t get into places they shouldn’t. Keep your tools safely locked away in places out of reach. Install safety guards on staircases and pools to keep them from taking a nasty fall around the home.
And don’t forget to cover the electrical outlets. My kids are all grown up now, but I remember telling my son, Mike Jr. to never poke objects into outlets and that only seemed to make him want to do it more. One day he got a big shock, and believe me, he never made that mistake again!
Creating Safe, Healthy Homes
Creating a healthy home for you and your family goes beyond what you see hanging on the walls. A safe environment even includes the air we breathe, so we want the lungs of the home (the HVAC system) to perform high quality filtration and ventilation to keep the home safe for everyday growing up.
The air in our home plays a giant role in the way we feel on a day-to-day basis - and if the air quality inside is no good, you could start to feel those negative effects. Symptoms may include things like headaches, itchy or burning eyes, irritated skin, or more. These days, we’re building our homes to be better sealed, and more air-tight - and that’s a good thing for energy efficiency. The problem is, if your indoor air quality is poor, you may have trouble cycling it out in favour of good, clean air. One way to make sure the good air gets cycled in is by installing a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) that will work to replace the bad air with the good on a regular cycle.
When renovating, think about using products that won’t off-gas in the home, especially in your child’s major activity areas. For their bedrooms and playrooms, you want to choose paints that contain low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that won’t off-gas those harmful chemicals. And if you’re doing a renovation to create a play space for the kids, there are portable air filtration products that can increase the air quality in particular rooms (like bedrooms and playrooms) which can help little minds benefit from a good sleep at night.
As a father and a grandfather, I know the importance of pool safety – especially when my two grandkids come to visit. I’ve already mentioned having a safety guard for your pool – but ideally, you will want to have a fence around the perimeter of the pool that’s at least 4 feet tall. If you have an above ground pool, lock or remove the ladder to the pool to prevent access.
Your pool cover should blanket the entire pool area, so your child can’t accidentally slip underneath them, and there shouldn’t be any standing water on the cover. Remember, floating solar covers are not the same as a safety cover.
And of course, you need to make sure your kids know the rules to play safe by the pool. No running on the deck, no riding toys by the poolside, and keep pool toys safely locked away when not in use. Finally, it’s never too early to enroll them in swimming lessons.
We’re going to spend more time in our homes than anywhere else; make it right for your family by making sure it’s safe.
Associa Supports Kids (ASK) educates parents and their children about safety and sponsors youth sports activities to help kids stay active. We provide families with important safety tips in and around the home. Scout the golden retriever (the ASK mascot) travels around the country to share stories, safety facts and tips at community association events. We also offer additional resources to give families the tools they need to help make their children’s futures bright. Associa is also an annual sponsor of NATIONAL NIGHT OUT (NNO). As the sole community management company to sponsor this event, we are eager to raise awareness in our communities on behalf of this national campaign.
About the Author
Mike Holmes, professional contractor and TV host, is working with Associa to refine the standards and protocols that today’s Homeowner’s Associations use to Make It Right™ for their homeowners. He brings more than 35 years of experience in renovations, construction, and inspection services, and is best known as the contractor and host of “Holmes on Homes” and “Holmes Makes It Right” where he rescues homeowners from repair and renovation disasters.More Content by Mike Holmes