Home renovations can be fun and exciting, but they can also be dangerous for young children. From hidden dangers in walls to an unsafe backyard, parents need to take extra precautions when making home repairs with children in the house.
Old homes are especially problematic, and repairs can bring out things like fumes, dust and mold that may be harmful to pregnant women and children.
Older Homes May Have Mold
Mold can be a serious issue when you’re repairing or renovating your home, and it can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:
· Eye irritation
· Respiratory irritation
Mold can also aggravate asthma and allergies in both children and adults.
If you uncover mold while making repairs, it’s important to have it cleaned up and get the source of moisture under control.
Radon, which is more common in Eastern Washington and parts of Idaho, may also harm your home’s indoor air quality. This naturally-occurring gas can seep up from the ground into the home and can only be detected with a special test.
Yards Can Be Unsanitary to Play In
If a septic tank repair is being performed on your property, it may not be safe for the kids to play in the yard. The yard may be unsanitary or downright dangerous to be in.
It may be necessary to block out the area of the yard where the repairs are taking place, or the kids may have to stay out of the yard entirely.
Asbestos, Lead and Other Hazards
If you live in a home built before 1978, there’s a good chance that the interior and exterior paint contains lead.
Lead exposure can significantly impair child development. The Centers for Disease Control say that lead affects nearly every system of the human body, and especially harmful to a developing brain. Pregnant women also need to be careful, as lead exposure can harm the nervous system of fetuses.
Children and pregnant women need to be kept away from paint chips and lead dust.
Soil can also contain lead, so experts recommend having it tested for lead before planting a vegetable garden on the property. Vegetables will absorb heavy metals, which means they would absorb lead in the soil.
Asbestos is another concern in older homes. This material was once common in homes, and was used for popcorn ceilings, siding and vinyl flooring. When asbestos fibers get lodged deep inside of the lungs, it can increase the risk of developing cancer and lung disease.
Asbestos should be disclosed when you purchase a home.
If your home has asbestos and you plan to make repairs or renovations that may disturb the material, consider hiring a professional to remove the material from your home. Do not attempt to remove asbestos yourself. Have it safely removed by a professional that will have the proper equipment and place to dispose of the material.
When making indoor repairs or renovations, it’s a good idea to wall off or block the area to prevent the children from being exposed to harmful material and other dangers.