Parents do everything they can to ensure the health and well-being of their children especially in the home. Whether it is a healthy and nutritious diet, participating in sports and exercise, wearing helmets and other protective gear, discouraging smoking, and removing obstacles that can lead to falls and injury, there is a myriad of dangers that seem to lurk behind every corner. However, there are potential and less obvious threats to children’s health.
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
The toxic effects of this odorless and colorless gas is worse on children’s smaller bodies and may cause flu symptoms. Sources of CO include generators, lawn mowers, vehicles, heating systems, and appliances that use fuels such as coal, propane, natural gas, wood, oil, and charcoal that are not burned completely. Be sure that all fuel-burning machinery is in good working order, the areas are well-vented, and install carbon-monoxide alarms in various locations throughout the house.
Indoor Household Chemicals
Cleaning agents, detergents, air fresheners, dryer sheets, beauty and hygiene products, medications, vitamins, supplements, and many day-to-day items used throughout the inside of the home contain toxic, hazardous, and poisonous ingredients. For cleaning, select natural products like vinegar, baking soda, read labels, and be sure to keep all these products out of reach and out of little hands and mouths.
Although bugs, roaches, and other pests may be an inconvenience, the chemicals found in the pesticides and herbicides used to control them pose a much greater threat to children. To protect the inside of the home, options include making sure door, window, floor, and wall crevices are sealed with stripping. If a product must be used outside, avoid sprays and use minimal amounts of gels and baits.
In spite of best cleaning efforts, dust, mold, pollutants, and allergens find their way inside, and children are more sensitive and vulnerable to these irritants because they spend more time on the floor. Make sure to wash hands regularly, remove shoes and footwear at the door, keep humidity levels down, clean entrance mats, change furnace and air conditioner filters, use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, minimize clutter, and dust often. In addition, have carpets professionally cleaned from a company like Grimebusters Ltd. to help maintain a healthy home environment. Having your carpet cleaned will remove irritants at the source in order to prevent allergies from developing.
Although it is impossible to control everything that children come into contact with, taking a proactive approach with these four steps will help make your home a healthier environment.