Anyone who has little kids in the house most likely has an area in their home dedicated for play. Keeping this area clean and safe can be a huge challenge, especially with little ones underfoot. It is, however, exceptionally important since kids will likely be spending a significant amount of time in this area. Here are some great keys to keeping your kids safe and healthy in their playroom.
Use Safe Cleaning Tools
Germs are all over and kids may not always practice the best hand-washing and cough-covering techniques, so washing down toys on a somewhat regular basis is very important. When choosing cleaning supplies, do so carefully. It is best to choose a safe and nontoxic cleaner or to make one. Even something as simple as a water and vinegar solution can act as a mild disinfectant. Even with safe cleaners, it is best to keep them well out of reach of little ones.
Watch for Lead-based Paint
In the past most paint used in homes was lead-based. Young children are at a higher risk of health problems due to lead exposure since they are more likely to do things like chew on windowsills or eat paint chips they find on the floor. Even low doses of lead can be damaging to children, resulting in things such as behavior problems, learning difficulties, and anemia. In order to have a safe play area, it is advisable to remove as much old paint as possible and repaint with safe paint.
Consider Air Quality
Avoid overly fragrant air fresheners, and instead open the window for fresh air when appropriate. Keep humidity low, and run a dehumidifier if necessary. In order to cut down on dust, keep clutter to a minimum and try to use hard, easy-to-wipe surfaces in decorating. If you get overwhelmed with the level of deep cleaning necessary, you can always inquire about cleaning services from Maid Brigade or a similar company in your area to take care of the intensive duties.
Baby Proof the Surroundings
Even if the children playing in the playroom are not babies, it is wise to do some basic baby-proofing to keep them safe. Don’t forget to consider things such as covers for electric outlets, braces to keep shelves securely attached to walls and floors, and hooks to secure any cords hanging from window curtains or blinds. Since play can sometimes become rough, plastic protectors on sharp corners and baby gates near any staircases are good ideas. If the playroom is out of earshot, consider setting up a baby monitor so you can hear what is going on even if you are preparing dinner or folding laundry elsewhere in the house.
Choose Durable Non-Toxic Toys and Art Supplies
When choosing toys, do so carefully. Often it is best to opt for quality over quantity. Try to buy toys and art supplies that are responsibly made to be safe and durable. Toys that break easily pose the risk of small pieces causing choking hazards. Certain plastics contain harmful chemicals, and not all countries have the same manufacturing regulations. Do your research and buy responsibly.
Providing a clean and safe play area for children can certainly be challenging, but also extremely rewarding. It is fun to give them some ownership in it too. Encourage them to help clean and organize. This helps them to take some care in ownership of their things and makes less work for you!