PLUMBING SAFEGUARDS (HOME REPAIR GUIDE)

Control the flow of water to stop messes and potential burns on children

Kids love water. It’s fun to splash and interesting when it keeps coming out of a tap. Toilets are
interesting, too. Push a handle, and things disappear. Toys and washcloths also disappear. As much as
you want to limit water play to bath time or outside with a hose, your kids have different ideas, but
you can control the water flow and extracurricular toilet usage with some readily available kid-
proofing hardware and devices.

Toilet Lid Locks

Self-clamping toilet lid locks prevent the youngest children from opening the lid but not adults or older children.

For the price of one visit by a plumber, you could buy a dozen locks or more, so they are easily worth the investment.

Different styles are available, but some do not fit all toilets as their promotional material suggests.

No tools are required to install toilet lid locks.

A key to child safety around water inside your home is checking the water temperature. According
to the McKesson Pediatric Advisor, it takes only six seconds of exposure to 140-degree F water to
cause a serious burn but ten minutes of exposure at 120 degrees. Water heater tanks have adjustable
thermostats for resetting the water temperature.

Safety Tap

Even with water heater tanks set to lower temperatures, children can still get injured by uncontrolled hot water coming out of a tap.

Safety tap prevents children from accessing single-faucet tub valves by covering them with a plastic box accessible to adults.

Soft protective tub spout covers, usually in the shape of toy animals, protect when falling against the faucet’s hard edge.

Cushioned tub guards protect when falling against the edge of a metal tub.

Filling up a tub or sink with the drain closed presents another dilemma. Either fixture can fill with
water faster than the overflow protection can drain it.
Ease of exiting a wet tub isn’t a concern only for the elderly. Install grab bars for kiefs to use when
leaving the bath. Wall-mounted models and clamp-on styles are worth considering. It’s the little
things that will make the biggest impact in safety in your home.

Grab Bars

Grab bars or safety bars come in a variety of sizes and designs to accommodate people with different physical needs.

Having a grab bar makes sense for anyone standing up in a slippery tub; install a long one so both adults and children can use it.

To fasten to a tile wall, use a glass and tile drill bit for drilling the hole and stainless steel screws for securing.

Hardware is available for installing inside a fiberglass or acrylic shower stall.

YELLOW LIGHT

Some studies mention concern for bacterial growth if the water temperature is less than 140
degrees F, but this applies more to people with compromised immunization systems. Children
have developing systems, and if this is a concern, discuss it with your pediatrician and balance
the risks of burns versus possible water quality problems.

Garden Hoses

Many hoses are made from PVC, which uses lead as a stabilizer; lead can also be found in brass hose fittings.

Although lead levels have been reduced in recent years due to legal action against hose makers, some lead still remains and is noted
on hose warning labels.

A lead-free hose will be marked as “Safe for Drinking.”

Flush any hose out for a minute or two before drinking from it or filling a wading pool.

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