Keeping children out of harm’s way during a home remodel is challenging. By nature, children are inquisitive and prone to poking around in new environments. During renovations, this can be very dangerous.
Speak with your contractor if you have children who will be in the home during the remodel. Request that extra safety precautions are put into place, and make sure that your contractor is comfortable working in a home with children. Ask him or her if they have experience remodeling homes where child safety and kid friendliness are requirements.
If you’re doing a kitchen or bath remodel – updating a room that the children use frequently – be diligent about setting up an alternate space where the family can function. If your child is accustomed to retrieving his or her own juice from the kitchen fridge, set up a mini fridge instead and show your child the difference. If you’ll be using a guest bathroom while the main is remodeled, be sure to transfer all your child’s toys and bath time accessories. A little bit of diligence and pre-planning goes a long way toward keeping children safe during remodeling.
Think about air and waste when renovating. This is a smart step to keep people of all ages safe and healthy during home renovations, especially small children. Plenty of dust and allergens can get kicked up during a remodel, so consider air purification in addition to plastic sheeting to keep the air as clean as possible. If you’re having insulation, dry wall or other potentially hazardous materials removed during renovation, be sure to keep the waste properly contained and out of reach of children.
Teach the importance of staying away from workers and unfinished areas. A crew will be carrying tools and equipment in and out of your house with frequency. Don’t let children get under foot as this can quickly cause injury to the workers and the kids. Also, be sure to keep your children away from unfinished areas, even if they appear nearly complete. Exposed wires, unfinished flooring and loose items, such as nails, can be hidden dangers in the workspace.
Keep tools and cords properly stored. When speaking with your contractor, mention your desire to keep power tools and extension cords stored out of reach of children. Offer garage space or rent a small, mobile storage unit if the room being renovated provides no areas for keeping equipment put away.
If you or your children have specific allergies that you know will be affected by the remodel, such as a sensitivity to dust, talk with your contractor about which phases of the renovation will be most hazardous. The best thing to do during those times is to spend the night with family or friends or live in the part of the home that is furthest away from the work.
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