Homes are meant to make us feel safe and protected, however, different circumstances or objects in the home could contribute to it being unattractive Health hazards like rodents and bugs hiding in corners, mould and second hand smokes may be present in our homes. And while some of these hazards are easy to fix, some require an overhaul of lifestyle and habits.
Sonya Lunder, a senior researcher at Environmental Working Group says Toxic chemicals are everywhere, so exposure is really difficult to avoid. However, she further says that there are things we can proactively do to keep our houses safe and healthy.
You have young children? Researchers say children spend about 90 percent of their time indoors so it's not far-fetched to conclude that having a safe environment is very critical for their health.
Let's look at some of the hazards, some obvious, some not, and tips on how to guard against them.
1. Be careful with hot liquids
Your young child could get seriously burned in the bath tub.
"Hot water can burn skin just like fire," says Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council.
Always test the water temperature before dunking your child into the tub. Also, restrict children's access into the kitchen while cooking. And while serving them meals, ensure their beverages, broths or soups are not too hot. It could spill and scald their hands.
2. Look out for Poisons
Cleaners, drugs, perfume, mouthwash, look out for products that could be harmful to your child. Check for components in the products so as to watch out for any allergies your child may have. More than a million children are poisoned by ingesting common household items every year.
3. Window Locks
A child is naturally curious and that's the problem with windows. With all the amazing and exciting view outside the house, they attract children's attention without the innocent ones knowing the danger they are potentially in. Research says that every year, more than 4,000 kids end up in the emergency room after falling out of a window. So please use your locks. It's the easiest way to prevent your child from opening a window. And if you are lucky, your windows have permanent locks pre-installed. If not, install window guards on all upper floor windows.
4. Ban those Bugs!
The best way to ban bugs safely is to keep them out. Prevention is always better than cure. Keep your food under wraps. Don't leave pet food out overnight. Wash your pets regularly with soap and hot water. Natural herbs like lemon, wormwood and rosemary can discourage fleas from sticking around. You can make a mix with water in a spray bottle and spritz dogs every other day.
However, by some sneaky crooked way they got in? Termites, roaches, bed bugs, ants? Invest in effective pest control practises.
5. Clean house
We know the importance of cleaning. By removing dirt and germs, cleaning helps us to stay healthy, care for others, our homes and belongings, and make our surroundings more pleasant. However, cleaning is easier if you don't have to de-clutter every step along the way. Make it a habit to keep things in their proper places and involve every member of the family in the process. There is no excuse for anyone to not help out, except they are sick or physically unable to. Even toddlers can be taught to put their toy into the toy box. Get everyone involved and get organized
6. Be Prepared for Fire
Have a smoke alarm on every floor and room, as well as the basement. Remember to test them monthly. Have a fire blanket and bucket. Have a multipurpose extinguisher within reach. When using an extinguisher, remember the PASS: Pull the pin. Aim at the base of the fire. Squeeze or press the handle. Sweep at the base of the fire from side to side until it goes out.
7. Maintain and Make repairs
Remember when you said you'd repair that hole in the wall or door? Or fix that wire hanging out the roof? It's time to fulfil that promise. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected. Check your bulbs and wirings. Polish your floors. Make sure window casings are well sealed. A window may have double casings or panes of glass, but it won't retain heat if improperly sealed.
• Make a list of things that need to be done and tick them off as you go.
• Go through your refrigerator the night before emptying your trash. Throw out old food or spices you don't use like a jar of mayonnaise that was last used thanksgiving a year ago, even if it hasn't expired.
• After your trash pickup, spray bleach into your outside trash can and rinse out with the help of a hose out. Odors will be reduced and bugs and insects won't be drawn to it. Then leave it open to air-dry in the sun. You can also spray the interior with bug spray before you start to pile in fresh trash. The smell would repel bugs from coming to play.