Small children bring many changes to your household. Their precious joy and energy make life more fun, but these same traits can also lead them into danger. Bathroom and kitchen safety become even more critical once young children reach the age where they can manage their needs with greater independence. These small changes prevent hot water burns and make it more enjoyable for kids to start practicing their hygiene skills.
Switch to a Lower Sink
The typical sink is placed at a height that is meant to be comfortable for the average-sized adult. This often makes the faucet handles inaccessible to small children. You can always add a step stool, but this can increase the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. A lower sink is an option to consider if you anticipate having several years of young children using the bathroom. It is safer, and you won’t have to worry about the kids using the step stool to reach other parts of the room that you want to stay off-limits.
Make Sure the Drains are Clear
Young children are often to blame for backed up drains, and it is true that they do have a tendency to stuff things down the sink that don’t belong there. Start your children off for success by making sure that the drains are already running well. A plumber can clear out deep clogs that might not be noticeable until it is too late. Then, make sure that there is a drain strainer in the sink to further filter out large items.
Install an Anti-Scald Valve
Hot water burns are preventable, but you might need to take a few extra precautions to keep young children safe. You can begin by marking the hot water handle so that kids quickly know which one to avoid. You’ll also want to lower the temperate on the hot water heater thermostat. Anti-scald valves go an extra step further by reducing the chances of a burn during times when the cold water suddenly loses pressure.
Add Child-Friendly Accessories
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the sink area has everything that your child needs to wash their hands. Switching from a pedestal style sink to a vanity model provides extra counter space for children to keep their soap and toothbrushes. You might also need to lower the towel ring on the wall for children to be able to reach to dry their hands.
Prepping your sink for young children to use requires only a few alterations, and they all add up to a safer lifestyle. Families often find that many of these changes are ones that they want to keep even as their children grow since features such as anti-scald valves and lower fixtures make life easier for older adults as well.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan