We all want to make our homes work better for ourselves. A lot of us will focus mainly on the financial concerns, such how to add value to it or to make it more energy efficient. However, one of the points that can’t be ignored, as far as quality of living is concerned, is health. The health and safety of you and your family in the home. If you want to avoid getting sick or injured, keep reading.
The household diet
It’s not something that’s part of the house itself. However, it is an aspect of family life that we should more care into. It’s easier to eat processed and junk food because you can buy it cheap and conveniently. The costs of healthy eating do go up if you’re not planning well. The best thing to do is start making a family meal plan and buying your ingredients in bulk. Avoid waste by finding recipes that use interchanging ingredients. Of course, we all have members of the family who are a bit more prone to snacking, but it’s easy to get healthier snacks, too. All good health starts in the gut, to refrain from keeping any unhealthy foods in your cupboards.
The trouble with bacteria
There’s bacteria everywhere. We all know that. We also know that a bit of bacteria, even the harmful kind, can be beneficial to developing a working immune system. However, that’s not to say we should be completely complacent. There are some parts of the home that can collect way too much bacteria and start to pose a serious health risk. For one, in the bathroom. It’s not just the toilet, bath and sink that need to be heavily cleaned from time to time. Given the humidity of the room, it only makes sense bacteria would gather quickly. That counts for the shower head, as well. Sources like this fantastic read from The Alternative Daily show shower heads have some of the highest bacteria counts in the home.
Your air quality
If it’s bugs and illnesses you want to help your family avoid, then some attention needs to be paid to the very quality of the air, as well. Poor air quality doesn’t just help the spread of disease. It can also be dangerous, even potentially fatal, to people with respiratory problems. Those with asthma and similar conditions need to be particularly careful. The ventilation and temperature control of the home plays a big role in air quality. For example, it’s a good idea to have ventilation that allows air flow from one room to another. As well as air flow from the outside to the inside. Introducing fresh air into your rooms is a vital way of clearing out contaminants.
Mold and damp
Another big risk to breathing and the source of a lot of monetary and health woes. Mold and damp are normally introduced to the home by not having enough protection from the outside air. Particularly when it comes to wind, rain and weather damage. Gaps in your insulation and roofing problems allow in water which seeps through the house and begins to cause some serious problems. Treating damp is far from impossible, but you need to make sure you know which type you’re dealing with. Misconstruing the problem can lead to you only causing damage to the home and being left with the underlying concern. Whether it’s penetrating damp, rising damp or condensation, you can deal with it. Just make sure you know which is which.
Your drinking water
In a lot of cases, people will be happy to keep drinking their tap water even when they start to learn of what contaminants are in it. However, a lot of us are concerned about the contaminants and pesticides it can pick up in its travels. This isn’t a problem that people are just facing Flint, Michigan, either. It might not be quite as serious as that, but it has been found that around 85% of all tap water is laced with contaminants. Disinfecting products like chlorine and ammonia aren’t things that we want to be drinking, either. If you’re concerned about drinking clean water, then it’s recommended that you get yourself a water filter. They’re inexpensive and easy to reuse. Once you get one, you don’t have to worry about contaminants any more.
Lead paint in the home
We know that this isn’t going to be one of the most common concerns in housing. It only affects homes that were built before 1970 and a lot of homeowners will already be aware of the concern. However, we think it’s only right to include it as a warning to those who might have missed the memo. A lot of houses constructed in this time used lead-based paint. Over time, that paint can crumble and turn into dust. Everyone should know, by now, the risks of inhaling lead. Lead poisoning is a very serious health issue. So make sure you get your home checked and cleaned for any traces of lead.
Keeping the garden healthy
If we’re talking about contaminants and inhaling stuff you don’t want to, then you need to look at the garden as well. Carefully read any of the labels you use for pesticides and moss killers. Check them to make sure they’re safe for both your family and any pets you might have. You will find plenty that are, but some people still don’t want to risk it. We all want to keep our gardens free of pests but there are easy ways to do it naturally, as well. For example, introducing plants that bring in friendly predators to those pesky bugs. For examples, certain plants will bring in ladybugs which hunt aphids that can ruin your roses.
Keeping the kids in mind
If you have young children, it’s not just contamination and what they breathe in that you’re concerned about. You need to also be concerned about the very real physical risks they can get themselves into. For example, regarding the stairs. Or the chemicals inside your kitchen cupboards. It’s important to make sure you take childproofing the home seriously. Particularly in terms of child-locking your cabinets and cupboards. It makes sense to all of us by now to avoid detergents and the like. However, the children, their bright, colorful packaging sends them a different message. A lot of accidents involving young children are due to poisoning, so you need to take the risk seriously.
The risk of fire
Of course, one physical risk to everyone in the home is the risk of fire. We need to be more vigilant than just installing and testing fire/smoke detectors. We also need to have before and after plans. Before, to teach the family to spot the fire safety hazards in the home. Hazards like leaving appliances plugged in and powered on overnight. Or not paying attention to any frying pans or deep fat fryers. After is also important. How to escape and not exacerbate any situation involving a fire. This includes having a fire extinguisher in the home and teaching everyone that a cup or pan of water will usually not help if the fire is growing too large.
Getting rid of pests
We’ve already looked at better ways to deal with pests in the garden. However, the pests in your home can be a lot worse for you. Not only can they cause itching, rashes and general unpleasantness. They also provide a very real problem to anyone with respiratory conditions, much like poor air quality. There are miniscule pests that can prove a lot worse than even the bigger ones. For example, those that can make a home of your bed. It’s important not only to change and clean the sheets often. Getting a mattress protector can also add another layer between you and any potential bed bugs. Greatist has some great tips on how to deal with all kinds of household pests.
Preventing slips, trips and falls
It’s a common concern that’s not just limited to the home. However, it’s as important to pay attention to the risks in the home as anywhere else. Slips, trips and falls are the second largest cause of accidental deaths in most countries. Right after car accidents. So make sure you do what you can to prevent that kind of tragedy in your home. This includes being careful to inform everyone in the house of when the floor is wet after a washing, or drying it up from rain as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to always keep areas as clear as clutter of possible, too. Especially the stairs, where someone might not always see a tripping hazard as they’re walking down.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you. Not only to avoid the troubles you might already be aware of, but of some new concerns that you weren’t already thinking about. We don’t want anyone becoming paranoid, but some of these concerns need to be addressed. You don’t want your home responsible for anyone’s health woes.