7 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe During Your Next Home Remodel

Additions and Remodels
Kitchen Remodeling
Bathroom Remodeling
Small Projects and Repairs
By Contractors.com Team July 02, 2021

Kid’s safety is always on the mind of any parent, especially during a major home renovation. And that’s no surprise since remodeling can involve lots of construction dangers and many people moving about. A space that is being worked on can have sharp, uneven surfaces that aren’t safe for kids. Children are also naturally curious, and that can lead them to get into places that they shouldn’t be in during a remodel. For these reasons, it’s important to take precautions that keep your kids out of harm’s way during your next home renovation. 

A major job, such as a kitchen remodel or bathroom renovation shouldn’t be a job with a high risk of injury. Rather, it should be a fun new project that allows you to look forward to refreshing your home’s look and having a vibrant new living space for your family. By following a few basic kid’s safety tips you can greatly reduce the risk to children, pets, and parents alike. 

Keep Air Clean

This safety tip is less about controlling your kids and more about thinking ahead. Remodeling projects tend to kick up a lot of dust, and that can be bad news if you have a child with allergies. Before your project starts, it’s best to take measures to mitigate the spread of dust and therefore reduce its risks for children. When it comes to your air conditioning system, that means sealing off all HVAC ducts so that dust cannot spread through them. 

How to Keep the Air In Your House Clean During a Remodel

How to Keep the Air In Your House Clean During a Remodel

To prevent spread via doorways, use plastic sheeting to seal interior doorways so that people can pass through but dust cannot. This should keep dust contained in the work area as much as possible. If your home renovation is a DIY project, make use of air scrubbers or ask your contractor to use them, especially if your project involves a lot of sanding.  

Ways to Prevent Dust From Traveling During Construction

Ways to Prevent Dust From Traveling During Construction

Ventilation is also important for maintaining good air circulation. Be sure that any fans you have are directing air out, but also drawing fresh air in. This can be achieved by setting up window fans to draw air in. Ceiling fans can then move it through the house, and additionally, window fans can act as an exhaust, sucking the air out. 

Set Up Some “No Go Zones” 

The most surefire way to keep your kids from getting into dangerous situations is to make it impossible for them to get into said dangerous areas. To achieve this you’ll need to put up as many barriers as you can. In effect, you want to seal off the main construction area and make it a no-go zone so that your kids can’t get into it even if they wanted to. This can be as simple as plastic sheeting that can only be unzipped by adults and can even include toddler safety gates. 

Be Sure to Set Up Safety Zones for the Kids During a Renovation

Be Sure to Set Up Safety Zones for the Kids During a Renovation

If you’re working with contractors, be sure to let them know about these barriers. Ask them to step over gates and keep barriers closed as much as they can. To compensate for these new limitations,  you’ll also want to set up some alternative areas where kids can move freely without wandering into construction dangers.  

For example, it is recommended that you have a powder room ready for when your main bathroom is being renovated so your kids have somewhere to go. If your kitchen is the room being remodeled, be sure to set up a small refrigerator with snacks and drinks so your kids don’t try to go into a construction zone to get some Kool-Aid.  If construction has limited their playground space, a new toy or activity that will keep them engaged and excited for at least a week will also help.

Get It Done Before School’s Out 

This top safety tip is so neat it’s almost a hack. The best way to minimize construction danger is to take kids out of the equation, so why not do the work when the inquisitive little tykes are at school? The bulk of a remodeling job can be done in the eight hours that your kids aren’t at home provided everything is scheduled right. The best part is that by the time your kids get back, they’ll return to a finished job, with no pointy tools, dastardly dust, or sharp edges to be found. If your renovation job is a bit more involved, you can have the kids stay over at a friend’s to win some extra time. 

Keep Garbage at Bay 

Big or small, a renovation project almost always generates a lot of garbage and it all has to go somewhere. One place you don’t want it to end up is anywhere near your kids. Construction garbage includes a lot of shards and other sharp objects which children can easily step on or pick up. Depending on what you’re doing, your garbage can also include hazardous or toxic materials that curious little hands might want to grab, so be sure to regularly collect any refuse and promptly remove it from your home. 

Take Active Measures to Handle Construction Debris, Especially If You Have Curious Kids

Take Active Measures to Handle Construction Debris, Especially If You Have Curious Kids

Keep Tools Away From Prying Hands 

Whether you’re working with a contractor or doing it yourself, it’s important to keep any and all tools well away from children. Many toys, especially those for toddlers, are designed with buttons that cause funny sounds, lights, or make something move. Because of this, a big loud power tool with lights and buttons can seem awfully intriguing to a child. As an extra precaution, be sure any power tools are unplugged or have their batteries removed. To make sure none of your tools slip through the cracks, be sure to gather them all up at the end of the day and put them in one secure area where they’re out of reach.  

Making a Conscious Effort to Keep Tools Inaccessible for the Kids

Making a Conscious Effort to Keep Tools Inaccessible for the Kids

Choose an Experienced Contractor

When looking for a contractor, it’s best to keep an eye out for someone who has experience working in a family setting and therefore understands the importance of kid’s safety. Of course, your search should start with any certified contractors, since a certified contractor will have the necessary insurance and registration to do the job safely and correctly. When researching a potential contractor, you can also look at their safety practices and record. Referrals from previous customers can be quite helpful in this case, too. 

When speaking to a contractor you’re considering feel free to ask them about how they feel working in a house with children. This can give you a pretty good grasp of any preparations or safety measures they may (or may not) have for these kinds of situations. 

Watch Out For Hazardous Materials 

Alas, dust isn’t the only thing that poses a health hazard during a home renovation. Mold and mildew are also common problems and can be especially dangerous for children. Good ventilation can help keep these two threats in check, as can keeping kids out of construction zones. If your home is built before 1978, there’s a significant chance that asbestos and/or lead were used in its construction. Asbestos was commonly used in popcorn ceilings, insulation, and drywall. 

Lead paint was used extensively both inside and outside homes, and this is the most common source of lead in residential spaces. Both of these materials are toxic and have been revealed to be more dangerous for kids. This is because younger organisms are at greater risk of coming in contact with these toxic materials and are also more vulnerable to adverse health effects. 

Hazardous Materials to Keep Your Kids Safe From During Your Home Remodel

Hazardous Materials to Keep Your Kids Safe From During Your Home Remodel

If you suspect your home contains lead or asbestos, it’s important to contact a certified home inspector before starting any work. A home inspector can help determine what toxic materials may be present in your home and will give recommendations on what to do next. Asbestos or lead removal and abatement will add cost and time to any home renovation, but in the end, it's a worthwhile investment to ensure the safety of your family. 

Rat droppings are another hazard to watch out for, as these can spread diseases and can often surface as drywall is torn away. Just be sure to dispose of it quickly and safely so that your kids don’t find it.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team