Kid-Proofing Your Plumbing: A Guide For New Parents Or Grandparents

Safety may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to plumbing. To you as a mature adult, hot water or a toilet filled with water may be not be a threat at all. However, when you have kids, you do have to worry about the risks that your plumbing may pose to them. If you're a new parent -- or even a grandparent who will soon be having kids in your home -- make sure you follow these tips to kid-proof your plumbing.

Install temperature regulating fixtures.

Some people keep their kids from getting scalded by turning the temperature on the hot water heater way down. However, this increases the risk of bacterial growth in the hot water tank. A better approach is to install temperature regulating fixtures on any sink that the kids may be using. These fixtures only allow the water to get to a certain temperature. If the water that's about to come through is too hot, they either stop the flow of water or mix more cold water with it to cool the water down. (This depends on the model). Make sure you also have a temperature-sensitive mixing valve on your shower. This will keep the water from surging hot when someone is washing dishes or otherwise using the cold water.

Put a lock on the toilet lid.

There's always concern that your child will fall into the toilet and drown, and of course, you don't want them flushing any toys or big wads of toilet paper either. Putting a lock on the toilet lid will prevent both of these issues. You can find locks specifically made for this purpose. Usually, you have to squeeze two pieces together to unlatch them, and kids' hands are just not big enough to do this.

Choose sink drains that are hard to plug.

Kids have been known to plug sink drains and then turn on the water, filling the sink and causing a flood. This can also be dangerous if they end up falling into the sink or getting their face in it. Make sure all of the drains in your sinks and tubs are hard to plug. If your sink has the traditional stopper that you can close with the push of a button, you may want to remove the stopper and store it elsewhere until your kids are older and less likely to cause problems with it.

With the tips above, you can keep your plumbing and your kids safe from one another.