Whenever you take on a home renovation project, whether you are going the DIY route alone or hiring a contractor, health and safety is a priority. Risks abound, from setting foot on broken glass and timber to breathing in the toxic chemicals from paints and primers that are used in the project. When the dust has settled, and the paint cans have been put away, the finished results should be worth it, but great care needs to be taken in the meantime, especially when you have kids.
As we all know, children are curious beings. During a renovation project, they may try to take a peek at the work going on, setting foot in dangerous areas. They might get their hands on an unsafe tool and attempt to ‘help’ you or the workmen. That tin of paint in the corner is meant purely for the walls, but particularly when you have young children, the temptation to dip their hands in and have a go at finger painting may be too strong!
Even when they’re not putting themselves in danger, there is still the dust and fumes that could play havoc with any allergies they have! Needless to say, children and a home renovation project are uneasy bedfellows. As the parent, therefore, you need to keep your family safe. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you.
Talk to your children
If they are old enough to understand the concept of health and safety, tell them about the dangers prevalent in the home during the project. Tell them why they shouldn’t touch certain things. Explain why some rooms have to be out of bounds for a temporary period. Lay down ground rules that they have to follow while work is going on. Once your children are aware of the dangers, they are less likely to do something silly.
Change the way you use your home
When certain rooms are being renovated, they should be blocked off from everyday use. You will need to think creatively, and create alternative areas as replacement rooms. For example, if your kitchen is being remodelled, you might want to set up your refrigerator, kettle, and microwave in another room, so there is no need to enter a place that could potentially be dangerous. It can be awkward, but It will get your kids into the habit of knowing which rooms are no-go areas.
Be diligent with your cleanup
Young children will explore and touch things they shouldn’t, and when your back is turned, you never know what they might reach for. Therefore, take steps to remove or hide anything that could be considered harmful when they day’s work has been completed. Put chemical containers out of reach, even when they are empty, as chemical residue can still remain in the pot or tin. Go for a local skip hire to dispose of any loose metals and other dangerous materials. Ensure tools have been tidied away and put somewhere secure. Thoroughly vacuum rooms where there is a lot of dust and particle buildup. And cover unsafe areas of the room with plastic sheeting as a precautionary measure.
Keep the kids out of the way
If you’re renovating the house yourself, it will be difficult to manage your children at the same time as working. You will need to take turns with your partner to entertain your kids while work is going on, or you might want to hire a childminder to look after the kids in the house. Alternatively, get your children out of the house for the duration of the project, perhaps with a willing family member or trusted neighbour. This is a good idea anyway, as no matter how many safety precautions you have implemented in your house, having your children out of the way for a few days is the best way of keeping them safe.
We hope this advice was useful, but let us know if you have any further tips. Thanks for reading!