Being a mother of two young children, and a professional design background I have redesigned the house as well as kid’s rooms multiple times. While redesigning, my family’s safety was top priority, hence I researched simple ways to minimize the exposure to harmful chemicals. Here are simple tips that you could follow if you are planning to remodel.
- Select Durable Furniture: Select furniture durable in nature. This way, you will only buy once and could repurpose thereafter. Minimalist designs stand with test of time, when compared to trendy or extravagant designs. Buying furniture sourced from reclaimed woods or sustainable sources helps to protect environment.
- Select chemical-free products: Air quality is an important factor when it comes to health. Sometimes, we choose products that emit harmful chemicals impacting our environment. The harmful chemicals as well as volatile organic chemicals (VOC’s) emitted impacts both our health and the environment in long run. Select products that are free from harsh chemicals such as Phthalates, these are chemicals used to soften plastics and impact health of children in long run. In order to ensure, you are selecting the right product, follow a simple guideline: Buy products, which are certified to be chemical free. Products carrying GREENGUARD Gold certificate by UL comes with minimum VOC’s and free from more than 360 harmful chemicals.
- Avoid Buying Products with Flame Retardant Chemicals: It is always advisable to buy products free from polyurethane foam. Go for products made from 100% wool, polyester, cotton or down. You can easily find alternatives for kid’s furniture such as cotton, polyester fiberfill or wool filled products and wooden furniture. When picking furniture for kids’ room, always ensure you are avoiding flame retardant products. Read product details before you make the final purchase. It is wise to note that products marked with TB 117 label generally include retardant chemicals. While buying “bargain” furniture with steep discounts, be careful as manufacturers are allowed to sell products with retardants as they would no longer manufacture such products in future.
- Test Paint for Lead Exposure: Is your home built before 1978? Then, unfortunately there is a chance the paint on walls as well as window frames contains lead. Thus, before you start renovating or redecorating your kid’s room, it is highly recommended to test your home and know whether you and your family are within the safety limit. The best step for this scenario is to prepare yourself properly and ensure safety for your family by making your home lead-free. You should note that chipped or eroding paint or dust accumulated during renovations is the main causes of lead exposure in your home. When lead paints are scrapped and rubbed, lead dust is released in air as well as the surrounding areas. When lead-infused dust is ingested by young children, the impact can result in serious conditions.
- Opt for Wall to Wall Carpeting: In many homes, the entire floor is covered with carpet, resulting dust, mildew as well as mold accumulating continuously. This can cause asthma among children. Chemicals from household products as well as cleaning products, lead dust, pesticides, pet dander tends to sit on wall to wall carpeting. It is highly recommended that you wash your kid’s hands often, particularly before eating or after changing the vacuum cleaner bag, dryer lint or wet mop. HEPA graded vacuum cleaner usage is recommended for clean indoor air. If you have the opportunity to remove the wall carpeting, you can always use accent kids area rugs to soften up the area .
- Use Pest Control Services: We avail pest control service from time to time, but are you aware that pesticides have the potential to damage your child’s brain? The powerful chemicals used in pesticides are formulated to attack the nervous system of the insects and children might experience similar effects, when exposed. It is recommended to opt for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that recommends host of options to control pests.
It is very easy to win your fight against the pests. Try keeping your doors closed combined with clean window screens. Here are some additional tips:
- Clean food residues from plates and store leftovers in covered container after your meal.
- Check for cracks and seal from outside your house to prevent insects from entering
- Check and destroy the breeding grounds for insects such as stagnant water, puddles etc
- Remove spider webs with brooms