You want to take good care of your family. You try to eat healthy foods. You take your children to the doctor for regular checkups. You try your best to protect your family from accidents and illness. You want to live in a safe neighborhood and home.
But did you know your home might have hidden dangers to your family’s health? Ask yourself:
Is the air in your home clean and healthy?
Do your children have breathing problems, like asthma? (Asthma Information)
Is someone in your home allergic to mold?
Do you know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Is there lead anywhere in your home?
Is your tap water safe to drink?
Do you have household products with chemicals in them that can make you sick?
Do you use bug spray or other products to keep away pests?
Do you keep poisons where your children can reach them?
The answers to questions like these will help you learn if your home is safe and healthy.
Eight Healthy Homes Principles…
Fortunately there are some really simple ways to help make your home a healthier place for you and your family. Start with these eight healthy home principles:
1. Keep it Dry:
Prevent water from entering your home through leaks in
roofing systems, rain water from entering the home due to poor
drainage, and check your interior plumbing for any leaking.
2. Keep it Clean:
Control the source of dust and contaminants, creating
smooth and cleanable surfaces, reducing clutter, and using effective wetcleaning
3. Keep it Safe:
Store poisons out of the reach of children and properly
label. Secure loose rugs and keep children’s play areas free from hard or
sharp surfaces. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and keep
fire extinguishers on hand.
4. Keep it Well-Ventilated:
Ventilate bathrooms and kitchens and use whole
house ventilation for supplying fresh air to reduce the concentration of
contaminants in the home.
5. Keep it Pest-free:
All pests look for food, water and shelter. Seal cracks
and openings throughout the home; store food in pest-resistant
containers. If needed, use sticky-traps and baits in closed containers,
along with least toxic pesticides such as boric acid powder.
6. Keep it Contaminant-free:
Reduce lead-related hazards in pre-1978
homes by fixing deteriorated paint, and keeping floors and window
areas clean using a wet-cleaning approach. Test your home for radon, a
naturally occurring dangerous gas that enters homes through soil,
crawlspaces, and foundation cracks. Install a radon removal system if
levels above the EPA action-level are detected.
7. Keep it Well-Maintained:
Inspect, clean and repair your home routinely.
Take care of minor repairs and problems before they become large
repairs and problems.
8. Thermally Controlled:
Houses that do not maintain adequate
temperatures may place the safety of residents at increased risk from
exposure to extreme cold or heat.