If you are expecting your first baby, there are a lot of things to do to get yourself and your home ready for the new arrival. There's a lot of excitement in preparing the baby's room and buying all the little clothes and diapers. However, it's important to not forget some very important safety issues that should be taken care of, and they can all be done with the help of three professionals. Here are three utility systems you may want to test and upgrade if necessary.
Water is an essential element for survival, and water quality and temperature can affect your baby. You'll want to be sure that your water is free of contaminants and pollutants. For example, research shows that too many nitrates in water can harm a baby. Have your water tested, regardless of whether you have a well or are on the public water system. You can do this by hiring a plumber to test your water.
Water temperature is another thing that can harm your baby. The temperature of your water heater should be set at 100 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. Temperatures greater than this can badly burn the delicate skin of babies and children. Ask your plumber to inspect your water heater to ensure the thermostat is working properly.
Lowering the temperature of your water heater is crucial if your plumbing network is in a series. For example, if your shower water gets extremely hot when a toilet is flushed or the water is turned on at a faucet, your plumbing runs in a series.
You won't need to worry too much about the electrical outlets when you first bring baby home. But you'll want to make sure the electrical outlets in your home are safe before baby starts crawling and getting into everything. For some reason, little ones are fascinated by electrical outlets.
To make matters worse, babies and toddlers are known to drool and stick their fingers into their mouths. A wet finger placed into an electric socket can severely harm a child. Fortunately, there are special protective outlet covers that can be installed to cover the dangerous receptacles. You can purchase these devices at your local hardware store and install them yourself, or hire an electrician to do it for you.
In your kitchen and bathrooms, the outlets should have a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). These are outlets that monitor the amount of current flowing, and the circuit within the outlet trips when there is an imbalance of current, which commonly happens when there is too much moisture. This is why these outlets are important in kitchens and bathrooms.
GFCIs have a button that needs to be pushed to reset the circuit. Sometimes, this button is red, but not always. If you don't think your outlets in your kitchen and bathrooms have this special feature, hire an electrician to upgrade the outlets.
Poor indoor air quality can compromise the lungs of small children and may have a role in the development of asthma. It's a good idea to install a HEPA filtration system in your home to help protect your baby from indoor allergens and pollutants. Most HEPA filtration systems can be retrofitted to existing heating and air conditioning units. Ask your HVAC technician for more information.
The air quality in your home may be affected by what is in your ducts. Mold, dust, debris and pests inside your HVAC ducts can enter the living quarters of your home every time air is forced through the ducts. Have the ducts professionally cleaned by your HVAC technician before you have a HEPA filtration system installed.