If you happen to be reading this blog, you could have a new bundle of joy about to enter your life! Congratulations! You’ve probably already been reading up on various ways to ensure you’re completely prepared. Installing a car seat, as well as stocking up on diapers, wipes, bottles, and more, has likely all found a place on your to-do list in recent weeks!
Going right along with all of this preparation, you can’t forget about your plumbing and how that relates to babies, toddlers and young children. While you’re in the process of baby-proofing the rest of the house, make sure to spend some extra time on the bathroom and kitchen, which is where the bulk of your plumbing system resides. Throughout this blogpost, we’ll provide you with some quick tips to ensure everything is accounted for!
Baby-Proofing Your Bathroom
While bath time can certainly be a fun time for babies, it can also easily be a dangerous one. For this reason, water safety should instantly be high-priority item for new parents! A report from KidsHealth found that babies “can drown in less than 2 inches (6 centimeters) of water. That means drowning can happen in a sink, toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, inflatable pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, such as ditches filled with rainwater.” Having said this, a wise first-step is to keep the bathroom door locked when it’s not being used. Another option to consider would be using a latch that’s higher up and out of reach from young children.
Toilet Lid Lock: Toilets can seem particularly amusing for young children. However, as evidenced above, they can also be a drowning hazard if a child were to fall in head-first. This issue can easily be alleviated with a toilet lid lock. You can find them anywhere from Amazon to Walmart or Target. Most of them, like the one linked HERE, require no drilling into the toilet bowl itself and can be applied with an easy-to-use adhesive.
Non-Slip Bathtub Mats: As you might guess, all of the water could make the tub a tad slippery for your little guy! Consider purchasing a non-slip tub mat, like this one from Amazon.
Water Heater Safety: If you’ve followed along on our blog, you know water heaters certainly get quite a bit of love. After all, installing water heaters Kansas City can count on is a huge aspect of residential plumbing. Yet another area they tie into is bath water for babies. Too hot of water can immediately create a risk of scalding. The Mayo Clinic has a great fully-comprehensive resource of preventing burns at home, but one major action item involves turning down the thermostat on your water heater. While manufacturers recommend anywhere from 120-140° as being an ideal temperature, we strongly recommend going on the low end and keeping it a little under 120°. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic recommends checking the “temperature of bath water with your hand before putting your child in the tub.”
Water Softener: Hard water is another topic that we’ve previously discussed here on the blog. In essence, hard water is water that possesses a higher than normal mineral content. It’s still safe to drink and wash with, but it does have some negative effects like drying out skin and hair. In addition, the level of water hardness various by location (Kansas City ranks on the higher end of hardness). While you can’t necessarily change the actual hardness of a location, a potential solution is installing a water softener. This can help alleviate any future issues!
Prevent Clogged Toilets: While most baby wipes may claim to be “flushable,” that unfortunately is not always the case. With the increase in used wipes, your best route is going to be to toss them in the trash can.
Supervision, Supervision, Supervision: This goes for nearly anywhere a baby may be, but can’t be said enough when it comes to the bathroom. Never leave your baby alone in the tub under any circumstances. There are just too many potential hazards.
Baby-Proofing Your Kitchen
Now that the bathroom is taken care of, your next step to a baby-proof plumbing home is getting your kitchen ready to go. Your kitchen will present a completely separate group of potential problems you’ll want to be mindful of.
Anti-Scald Device: With any faucet, one of your biggest concerns should be the chance of scalding. To take care of this, add an anti-scald device. They’re easy to install and will for sure take some worry off of mom and dad’s shoulders. HERE is a link to one off Amazon. As a side-note, this is also something you’ll want to think about installing on the faucets in the bathroom as well.
Supervise: I know we mentioned supervision above with bathrooms, but the same holds true for kitchens, just with a different set of problems. For one, never leave your little guy alone in the kitchen, but you’ll also want to consider getting an oven lock, stove guard, refrigerator lock, and locking the fridge’s water dispenser. This doesn’t even take into account baby-proofing all of the cabinets as well!
Keep Everything Clean: Not only does a clean home create a welcoming place for you and your family, but it will also keep your newest family member safer. With this, I’m talking about cleaning any spills immediately and getting leaks in your pipes repaired right away. Remember, it doesn’t take a lot to create a slipping hazard. Just as we mentioned with your bathroom, this is something you’ll need to keep an eye on at all times!
Out of Reach, Locked Cabinets: Any detergents, cleaning products or other chemical cleaners need to be locked away in a cabinet out of the reach of your young ones. While a lot of people are used to storing them under the sink, we would strongly recommend moving them a little higher. The same can be said for any plastic bags or saran wrap.
Electrical Safety Throughout the Homes
A final safety measure that should be applied to the entire home is electrical safety. Thousands of children each year suffer severe shocks or even burns from sticking objects into outlets. Your two best tactics to prevent anything bad from occurring in your home is the installation of child-proof outlet covers or installing a GFCI outlet. The latter of the two is certainly a much more reliable long-term solution in preventing any forms of electrocution.
Hire Kansas City’s Plumbing Pro’s
We’re sure mom and dad will keep a close eye on their newest member of the family, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry! This includes throughout the bathroom and kitchen, where the bulk of your plumbing system is found. We hope this blogpost will provide you with a nice overview and plan for which areas you should be focusing on right away!
If you ever need any help in your preparation efforts or simply need something repaired, don’t hesitate to give your friends at Stine-Nichols Plumbing. Since 2014, we’re honored to have had the opportunity to work with thousands of Kansas City homeowners in an effort to resolve their plumbing issues. We serve the entire Kansas City area, including all of the surrounding cities. As always, we’re more than happy to provide a free quote, so there’s no surprises when your project gets underway. Just fill out the form here to learn more.