Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Neglected Home Maintenance Issues That Can Lead to Serious Health Issues for Children

Home maintenance repairs can be costly and inconvenient. However, for many of them, ignoring the problem can actually be dangerous to household residents, especially children. While it is important to keep up with all home maintenance to ensure your home runs reliably and safely, here are four issues that should be carefully monitored and maintained adequately year-round.

HVAC

Everyone needs for their home to be adequately warm in winter and cool in summer not only for comfort but also for health reasons. Children, especially, are susceptible to temperature extremes that can compromise their safety and cause serious health issues. To keep your HVAC system running efficiently all year, contact a furnace repair contractor to schedule an annual checkup with an inspection to identify potential problem areas. Smaller issues can be dealt with more quickly and affordably than bigger ones later on.

Mold

Many types of mold can develop in a home that is naturally damp due to its structure or because of foundation fissures. Sometimes, mold growth is found quickly, such as if it’s in the bathroom or kitchen. However, plumbing leaks or roof leakages can lead to mold growth inside the home in places that are invisible, like behind walls. If you observe mold spots or smell it in certain areas of your home, contact a mold specialist to evaluate the problem, and treat it if needed. Mold, especially black mold, is toxic and can cause illness and chronic health problems in children as well as people of all ages.

Lead

House paint used before 1978 contained lead, which can cause many kinds of health defects. Young children who chew on flaking paint chips or who lick painted surfaces could be, and often were, negatively impacted by the lead, which has been associated with impacting brain development and a wide array of problems. If your home’s walls have not been painted since 1978, you should have them checked for lead paint and arrange for mitigation, or repainting, to be done in a way that is safe and won’t leave paint chips to poison kids. Even if your home has been repainted since lead paint was done away with, newer chipped paint may expose the covered lead paint.

Electric

A home’s wiring can be life-threatening to anyone, but kids who do not understand exactly how electricity works are most at risk. They can be shocked or even electrocuted by playing with appliance switches or buttons that are aren’t properly grounded. Outlets should be covered safely to prevent toddlers from sticking their fingers into the openings out of curiosity. Wires also need to be kept out of the way of young children who may inadvertently pull an electrical appliance in use over on them, like an electric skillet or a heating lamp.

We want our homes to be as safe as possible for our kids to grow up happy. However, even the safest homes have some dangers. A thoughtful examination of these areas of your home and any others of concern will help to give you peace of mind so that you can protect your children.

Tim Esterdahl

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