It is important to pay attention to your children’s welfare when you begin home improvement projects. When remodeling, painting, or simply moving into a new home, substances may be present that potentially can be dangerous to children.

These simple steps, courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency can help you save children from environmental hazards in and around the home.

• Always store pesticides and other household chemicals, including chlorine bleach, out of children’s reach – preferably in a locked cabinet.

• Always read directions carefully because pesticide products, household cleaning products, and pet products can be dangerous or ineffective if too much or too little is used.

• Before applying household chemicals, remove children and their toys, as well as pets, from the area. Keep children and pets away until the substance has dried or as long as is recommended on the label.

• If your use of pesticide or other household chemical is interrupted (by a phone call or a knock at the door), properly reclose the container and remove it from children’s reach. Always use household products in child-resistant packaging.

• Never transfer pesticides to other containers that children may associate with food or drink (like an empty juice container), and never place rodent or insect baits where small children can get to them.

• Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often, and regularly clean floors, window sills and other surfaces to reduce potential exposure to harmful contaminants.

• Get your child tested for lead as a safeguard.

• Inquire about lead hazards. When buying or renting a home or apartment built before 1978, the seller or landlord is now required to disclose known lead hazards.

• Keep power tools and other tools away from curious hands. Don’t allow children to play with tools.

• Inhaled dust and debris can be as hazardous as some chemicals, especially for young, developing children. Always keep children away from dusty areas, like where sanding is occurring. Use plastic to prevent dust from traveling to other rooms of the home. – Courtesy of MS.

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