Prepare Your Home to Receive Baby

Chapter 2  Prepare Your Home to Receive Baby

 

bring baby homeAs you plan for the exciting event of bringing your new baby home for the first time, you need to be doubly sure that your home is safe and protected.

Remember that once baby is at home, you won’t have much time for changes, maintenance and renovations.  Also, you’ll want your home to be safe before baby moves in, so try to get things sorted out while you’re expecting.

These ideas will protect you and your family as well as your new baby.

Here are some of the things to look at.

Radon

Test for radon.   What’s radon?  It’s a gas, and worldwide it’s the second-biggest cause of lung cancer (after smoking) across the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

Radon is an odourless, tasteless and invisible gas produced by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and water. Radon is a proven carcinogen from exposure to radon in air.

If you want to learn more, read this article from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  http://epa.gov/radon/ .

How can I test?

Some home improvement stores sell radon test kits. Follow the directions on the packaging for the proper placement of the device and where to send the device after the test to get your reading.

Or in the USA call in a specialist to test your home.  In the UK the test is free.  A test kit is posted to you; you keep it in your house for three months and return it post-paid for analysis.   For other countries type Radon Test and the name of your country into Google  to find local details for your area.

Lead

Lead poisoning is rare nowadays.   Lead was used in paint and in some construction materials.  The older your home, the more likely it is to contain lead.  It is wise to test for lead if you meet any of these criteria:

  • If your home is old (especially houses built before 1978)
  • If you live close to industrial areas (some industries produce air-borne lead)
  • If you live close to a high traffic area (although lead is no longer common in fuel, it used to be, so your soil may be infected)
  • If you or your family work in the any of the following occupations known for lead exposure: plumbing, lead mining, shipbuilding, construction work, demolition work or pottery manufacturing
  • If you have hobbies that involve lead-based paints, ceramics, soldering etc.
  • Ifyour house has peeling or chipping paint
  • If your house has bare soil in the yard where children play
  • If you plan to repaint or renovate the house
  • If a child living in the house has had a blood lead test result indicating lead exposure

Lead in your home can cause long-term health and behavioural problems for children – those under 6 years of age in particular. Lead in paint, dust and soil is a problem for children because it gets in their bodies when they put their fingers, toys or paint chips or dust into their mouths. Lead can also harm a pregnant woman and her developing foetus.

If there is lead present, wipe down the affected surfaces with a damp cloth.  Then take advice on how to solve the issue.

There’s lots of information and advice on lead from the EPA .

In the UK you can get a free test from the Lead Paint Safety Association.

For other countries go to Google and type Lead Test and the name of your country.

Detectors and Filters

Properly install and maintain combustion appliances such as gas stoves and water heaters.  Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.  These are mandatory in many countries.   Carbon monoxide has no smell or colour, so we wouldn’t be aware of a leak until it’s too late.

If you use a furnace or fireplace, make sure that the correct filters and chimneys are installed. Any appliances that use combustion should be checked for harmful emissions.

Asbestos

Asbestos was popular with builders and contractors for many years for home insulation. Since researchers have identified health issues, the material is now less widely used. Prior to this discovery, however, millions of people worldwide have experienced serious exposure to this harmful substance.

renovate before baby comes homeIf you or your family work in the following, you are at risk of asbestos exposure:

  • aluminium plants,
  • oil refineries,
  • chemical plants,
  • mines,
  • factories,
  • shipyards,
  • construction sites
  • railroads
  • insulation and gas mask manufacturing facilities

Sometimes family members related to workers receive second hand exposure to asbestos from the dust and fibres that were brought home on clothes.

The Meso Centre has a huge amount of information on their websiite

Other Tips

  • Avoid gardening too close to the foundations of your house; old houses may have asbestos or lead insulation.
  • Don’t use pesticides in your garden – there are many chemical-free methods of pest control you can try. Use nontoxic or least-toxic pesticides in your home and on your lawn and garden.  For example, boiling water kills weeds, and basil plants repel flies and mosquitoes.
  • If you’d like a Free report on how to grow fresh, healthy, organic herbs and plants inside your home, click here.
  • Repair leaks and solve moisture problems to prevent mould growth.   Mould is a leading cause of allergens.
  • How is your tap water?  You should not serve bottled water to baby – bottled water is really bad for the environment, is massively over-priced and may offer some health risks.  See more about bottled water in this short video with some fascinating information
  • If you are not happy with your tap water, get a water filter or a jug or pitcher with a filter inside it.  See How To Choose the Best Filter For YOU
  • Consider any renovation done in your home as potentially harmful.  Do not do any sanding or renovation work while you are pregnant.  Let others do sanding or painting and keep renovation areas sealed off from the rest of the house and well ventilated.

 

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