4 Home Hazards To Watch For During COVID-19
Parents know that having a safe home for their children is immensely important, and most take the utmost care. But the broad-ranging effects of the coronavirus pandemic means that your home may now be functioning as an office, gym, and school on top of its normal use, with parents and kids stuck inside together all day, every day. This is a bad time to have to take a trip to the hospital because of a preventable accident, so here are four common home hazards that are worth doing a double-check on during COVID-19.
Kids have a lot of energy, and if you aren’t able to go outside much then your house is going to get some considerable additional wear and tear. Take a walk around and give a gentle pull on banisters, railings, gates, and other safety guards to make sure they’re attached securely. Windows, especially those above the first floor, can be especially dangerous, so make sure these are locked when children are around. Leaving a nightlight on in the path to the bathroom at night can also make it less likely for any worn out kids (or parents) to take a spill.
If you notice any bookcases, dressers, TVs, or other large furniture that looks like they could tip then you should take the time to secure them properly, as they’re more likely than ever to get an unintentional nudge. By the same token, if you’re using non-play areas for play then it’s worth taking a look around for any dangerous glass furniture and furniture with sharp edges or corners so that you can relocate things temporarily or apply some padding or other protection.
When the whole house becomes a potential play zone, it pays to be extra careful about burns and fire-related risks. You should have working fire extinguishers and be sure to regularly test all of your fire alarms (and carbon monoxide alarms, if you have them). Hot drinks, stoves, candles, and heaters can all cause burns, so let your kids know not to play around these things. Electrical fires are a worry as well, so another thing to check is that cords are tucked away safely and not being trampled over by all the extra foot traffic.
Anyone who handles chemicals for plants or pools knows that these should be carefully stored, but it’s important – especially given the extra cleaning that tends to go on in this kind of situation – to ensure that cleaners are appropriately labeled (e.g. no keeping your javex in a Sprite bottle) and out of the reach of children. Medications (including alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana products) should similarly be protected. Again, take a stroll around your house – especially in the bathrooms and accessible storage areas – to check that all of the above are stored securely so that they are beyond the reach of little hands.
A special note about radon: if you are in an area where there are issues with radon then make sure you keep this in mind if you’re using your basement more than usual (radon collects in basements). This may not be the easiest time to fix an issue like that, but if you are aware of it then you can at least make sure to open the windows regularly and engage in other temporary mitigation methods.
You can’t really talk about children and environment risks without mentioning water. As always, water poses a drowning risk that must be taken very seriously. Even if you’re not a pool owner, children should be monitored around tubs and any other large containers of water to make sure that the young ones stay safe. You also want everyone to be vigilant about cleaning up spilled liquids immediately, as it’s an easy thing to cause a slip and a fall.
There are many other household worries – from blind cords to plastic bags and magnets – but the four above cover the biggest risks that parents face in their homes. Let us know on social media any other steps you’re taking to make your home less hazardous. Stay safe out there!