How to Keep Your Kids Safe when They Clean
You want your kids to help out around the house, but you also want them to be safe. If you’re concerned about the slips and falls they may experience when cleaning or the kind of irritants and chemicals they may come into contact with when they’re tidying up, you may be motivated to just do the work yourself sometimes.
It’s great for your kids to learn responsibility, though, and to take the initiative to clean up after themselves. Here are some measures you can take to keep your kids safe when they clean and give you some peace of mind.
Use Gentle Cleaning Chemicals
The chemical cleaners you use can determine how easy it is to clean various surfaces. Some of them are great at killing germs, but some of them may also be harmful to your children. Kids tend to not be as careful as adults, so it is understandable that you might be afraid your kids will ingest some cleaning chemicals accidentally as they work or come into contact with clears that are irritating and harmful to their skin. You may just tell them to leave this part of the cleaning for you to do.
If your kids are responsible, though, and old enough to handle the cleaning chemicals, you just need to teach them cleaning safety and use gentle cleaners that won’t put them at risk of any negative reaction. Using basic cleaners made from simple chemical compounds is probably the safest way to go. Instead of buying cleaners from the store, you can make your own using baking soda, vinegar, and water. Check out homemade cleaners across the internet and see if you don’t find some ideas that look a lot safer than conventional cleaning chemicals. When it comes to cleaning chemicals, know what to look for and what precautions to use.
Teach Your Kids Properly
Taking the time to train your kids how to do various cleaning tasks will help your peace of mind and make them better at what they do. Take time to show them how to use the mop, wipe down counters, put away dishes, and other tasks that they are capable of. The first time you have them do a chore, you should walk them through it and not just assume that they know what they are doing.
After you show them how it is done, watch them do it for themselves. Give them guidance as necessary. Some kids will need more guidance and instruction than others. Be sure to check back with them over the next few days and weeks to see if they are doing the tasks properly or not and do more training if necessary. If they understand how the cleaning is supposed to be done, they can work safely and without direct supervision all the time.
Don’t Give Them the Tougher Jobs
There may be some cleaning jobs that you simply don’t want to give to your kids for various reasons. Maybe the job is too challenging, or it involves too many risks. Maybe your kids have shown that they have difficulty doing the job safely in the past. In those cases, you can save those cleaning jobs for yourself or have experienced maids do it instead. You have to know what your kids’ limitations are and what kinds of chores are safe for them to do and which ones need supervision or simply need someone else to get them done. Don’t make the mistake of putting your kids at risk just because your house chores are falling behind. Those chores are not so important that your kids ought to be put in danger over them.
Supervise when Necessary
The home can be a dangerous place at times. It is where most accidents occur because that is where most people spend the majority of their time. However, you can minimize the risk of injury to your kids by supervising them when appropriate. You don’t have to do all the chores yourself, but you should know when they need supervision and when they can do without it. Also, be aware of what kind of jobs are best for the kids to do while you are at home and which ones are safe for them to handle when you leave them home alone.
Your kids need a chance to prove themselves to be independent and learn from their mistakes, but there are also times when they benefit from supervision while they work. When these times will depend on the kids’ age and skill level. You might not want to leave your child to cut the grass by themselves when you are not at home, but you may feel comfortable letting them do it unsupervised so long as you are nearby. You may not want a younger child to wash the dishes by themselves until you handle the sharp objects first, but you may be okay with them washing all the other dishes without you present.
Put Kids Together to Work
Your kids may have trouble getting along with one another, but they will probably do a good job of keeping each other safe. Even though they fight occasionally, they probably watch out for each other and will be able to reduce the risk of injury when you pair them for jobs. Having them work as a team does more than just get the work done faster. It also builds cooperation skills and ensures that they have someone nearby if they become injured or get into trouble. This is a great way to minimize risk and feel better about having them work on house chores out of your sight.
You might get frustrated with your kids making messes and not being safe with some of the jobs you give them to do. You should realize that not all house chores are appropriate for all kids. You may need to give the job over to someone else and not have your kid do jobs where they aren’t showing themselves to be responsible and safe. If you are able to be flexible like this, you will protect your kids better.