When you have young children, you probably worry about everything from their food to their future educations. What you might not realize is that you also need to worry about their access to the plumbing in your home. Young children are naturally curious, which can lead to some serious plumbing and health problems. Not only that, but there are things that you might do as a parent that have negative effects on your plumbing. Here are five crucial ways to protect your plumbing and your young children.
1. Lock Your Toilet
If you have young children, you need to lock down your toilets. Most people think about swimming pools when they hear about toddler drowning deaths. However, nearly 90 children die each year from non-swimming pool-related drowning incidents, including toilets. When toilet lids are left unsecured, toddlers can drown when they fall headfirst into the water. A toilet lock secures the lid and protects your little one.
2. Cover Those Drains
When you have toddlers, you need to think about all the ways they can wreak havoc on your plumbing. Floor drains are one plumbing feature that is often overlooked. If you don't have proper covers, your toddlers can drop toys, food and other debris right into the drains. Unfortunately, once the drains are clogged with debris they can't provide effective drainage in an emergency. If your floor drains don't have adequate covers, install new ones as soon as possible.
3. Avoid Using Flushable Wipes
If you have sanitary wipes in your home — baby wipes or adult wipes — don't flush them down the toilet. They may say that they're flushable and biodegradable, but that doesn't make them safe for the sewer system. In fact, when you flush sanitary wipes down the toilet, they get stuck inside the drain pipes where they cause serious clogs throughout the sewer system. Always toss baby wipes and adult sanitary wipes in a trash can to avoid costly plumbing problems.
4. Double-Check Your Water Control Valves
When you have young children, you never know when you'll be faced with a toilet malfunction. The worst type of malfunction involves an overflow from the toilet bowl. If your toddler causes a clog that overflows, you need to turn the water off as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, you can't do that if the control valves on your toilet are stuck.
Before you're faced with a flooded bathroom, inspect your water control valves that are located on the wall behind your toilets. You can do this by turning them off and ensuring they aren't stuck or in need of repairs. You also need to know where the main shut-off to your home is located. In a plumbing emergency, you need quick access to your main water supply.
5. Ensure Annual Inspections
If you have young children, you need to be concerned about the presence of raw sewage in your home. Plumbing issues such as clogged sewer lines cause raw sewage to back up into your home. Unfortunately, if your young children come in physical contact with the raw sewage, they can suffer serious health problems.
Diarrhea Escherichia coli diarrhea is found in raw sewage and can cause bloody diarrhea and severe abdominal cramps. Shigellosis causes high fevers that can lead to seizures in children under two years of age. To avoid problems associated with raw sewage, have your sewer lines inspected at least once a year.
Don't take chances with your plumbing or your young kids. Use the tips provided here to avoid costly plumbing troubles, and to keep your children safe. Contact us today at Cleary Plumbing & Air to schedule a drain and sewer inspection.