Lessons on Home Safety with Kids

Many people know how to detect a fire or even put out a fire with a fire extinguisher. Many people also understand how to carefully climb a ladder or turn on a stove. But kids need to be taught how to do these things and how to stay safe while around the home. 

What to do during a fire risk

Depending on your child’s age, they may be able to use a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire. If you have teenagers, you can teach them how to use a fire extinguisher to put out a kitchen fire. However, smaller children may not be tall enough or old enough to understand the severity of a fire. So for little kids, it is best to teach them how to dial 911 and then go outside to stay out of harms way.

If the fire is too big, obviously teaching all children to leave the house and dial 911 will make all the difference between safety and serious injury.

Stay off the ladders

Ladders are tricky household maintenance tools. Our recommendation is that all kids stay off ladders unless there is supervision. Even adults on tall ladders should have someone at the bottom holding the ladder still to make sure there is no danger of falling. This also goes for home step stools of a significant height. The item up high can wait until someone else is around.

Electricity and water do not mix

Teaching kids that electrical items need to stay far away from water is very important. Many of us are aware that mixing water and electricity can lead to electric shocks and cause serious injury. Children do not always understand that a radio or television does not belong on a bathtub ledge. Teach children of all ages to keep the electrical items away from water. This also goes for teenagers using hairdryers in the bathroom over a running water sink.

Stay away from power tools

Power tools are like ladders. They are great at fixing things but they are also seriously dangerous. Power tools are best used with adult supervision and with specific training from a skilled adult. Teach kids to stay away form the power tools. And if you have the ability to lock the motors from running, it is best to keep safety mechanisms in place.

Keep clear of roofs

For some reason, kids sometimes think they can fly … just like Superman. It is important to discuss the issues of climbing or sitting on a roof and the dangers that can come with it. Roofs like ladders can cause serious injury and even potentially death. It is important to discuss height issues with children. This also goes for climbing tall trees around your house. Last thing you need is a scare and broken arm for one of your children.

Lawn Mowers

Over time, kids are given the responsibility to cut the grass. Whether they use push mower or rider mowers, these machines have high powered, fast moving blades that are designed to cut grass quickly. If children are not taught the respect of the machine, they could end up hurting themselves due to major cuts that can lead to severe bleeding. It is important to teach children how a lawn mower works in addition to the chore assigned to moving the lawn.

Understanding cleaning supplies

Some cleaning supplies can be toxic. It is important to keep cleaning supplies out or reach of little children. And potentially to add a child safety lock to the cabinets where the cleaning supplies are located. Small children do not understand not to drink cleaning supplies and cleaning supplies can cause death in a child. It is also important to educate older children about the use of cleaning supplies and the need to keep them away from their younger siblings. Using natural cleaning supplies will also help to remove risk of children getting sick from these supplies.

Keeping children safe can be challenging, but by practicing these simple instructions, you can minimize the risk from home related accidents.

Posted on HomeZada

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The Impact of Homeownership on Educational Achievement

The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans:

“Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”

Today, we want to cover the section of the report that quoted several studies concentrating on the impact homeownership has on educational achievement. Here are some of the major findings on this issue revealed in the report:

  • The decision to stay in school by teenage students is higher for those raised by home-owning parents compared to those in renter households.
  • Parental homeownership in low-income neighborhoods has a positive impact on high school graduation.
  • Though homeownership raises educational outcomes for children, neighborhood stability may have further enhanced the positive outcome.
  • Children of homeowners tend to have higher levels of achievement in math and reading and fewer behavioral problems.
  • Educational opportunities are more prevalent in neighborhoods with high rates of homeownership and community involvement.
  • The average child of homeowners is significantly more likely to achieve a higher level of education and, thereby, a higher level of earnings.

Bottom Line

People often talk about the financial benefits of homeownership. As we can see, there are also social benefits of owning your own home.

*The next two Thursdays, we will report the study’s findings on the impact homeownership has on civic participation and a family’s health.

 

Posted by The KCM Crew

Making the Shift: Teen’s Room to Guest Suite

After 18 years at home, your child is striking out on his own, whether to attend college or start an exciting new job. Though you may not be ready to do so immediately, you’ll probably want to convert the now-absent teen’s bedroom into a space you can use.

Teen’s Room to Guest Suite

from Zillow

One of the best and most popular strategies is to remake the space as a guest bedroom. That may seem like a tall order — especially if you’re peering into a chaotic, poster-lined teenager’s haunt — but you’re closer to the finish line than you might think. With luck, you can get the job done in only one weekend. Here’s how to organize the effort:

1. Clear out what’s left behind.

Before your child leaves, or the next time he or she is home, ask them to help you pack all the stuff their not taking with them. From sports trophies to old textbooks, there’s likely a wide and assorted range of keepsakes arranged (or strewn haphazardly) around the room. At least for the time being, pack these belongings into large plastic bins and then relocate those bins to an out-of-the-way storage area, be it the attic, basement or garage. Once you’ve finished packing and stacking the bins, the bedroom — free of all clutter — should already begin to look a lot more adult.

2. Introduce a new wall color.

Your goal now is to alter the mood of the space and give it a fresh identity. There’s no quicker or more affordable way to revolutionize a room than with a fresh coat of paint. Whereas your son or daughter might have chosen a neon shade or a light pastel, consider a neutral hue — something that rarely goes out of style. White or cream are popular options, meshing well with any decor, while leaving you ample opportunity to add punches of personality through accents (e.g., window treatments or wall art). For a room with more shadows than sunlight, consider lime green or ocean blue; these bright hues can actually make a dark room look brighter.

3. Rethink the furnishings.

You may be surprised to realize that most of the furniture in the room can probably be reused, if made to look more mature. For example, it’s fairly easy to refinish a dresser that’s been covered in stickers and decals. It’s just a matter of sanding it down to the bare wood and staining or repainting. By the same token, putting a new shade on an old table lamp can dramatically change its look. Another good idea: Bring in a tasteful area rug, particularly if there are any stains on the floor. Lastly, upgrade the sleeping arrangement to a guest-friendly queen-size bed. If the room is too small for a larger mattress, opt for a pull-out sofa that doubles as daytime seating.

4. Don’t forget the extras.

Think like a hotel manager and outfit the room with thoughtful details to make guests more comfortable. At the foot of the bed, a bench or chest serves as a suitcase-landing zone. A glass and water pitcher, meanwhile, are always welcome on the bedside table. When it comes to wall hangings, don’t limit yourself to landscapes or abstract art. Framed family photos not only personalize the space but also remind you of the room’s history.

This article was originally published  by Bob Vila on Zillow Blog. See the original article here.

Bob Vila is the home improvement expert widely known as host of TV’s This Old House, Bob Vila’s Home Again, and Bob Vila. Today, Bob continues his mission to help people upgrade their homes and improve their lives with advice online at BobVila.com. His video-rich site offers a full range of fresh, authoritative content – practical tips, inspirational ideas, and more than 1,000 videos from Bob Vila television.

How to Make DIY Wind Chimes

Wind chimes have long been used as a holistic method of natural mind and body healing. The gentle music they create as the breeze flows through them can provide a feeling of tranquility in your patio, garden or balcony.

How to Make DIY Wind Chimes

photo from realtor.com

Making your own wind chimes is a fun DIY project that’s great to share with children. Best of all, you don’t need to shop for expensive items for your wind chimes; you can use items already in your house!

Basic Design: Wind Chimes

The most common style of wind chime has a center-mounted wind catcher surrounded by various sound-producing items (such as metal pipes). The wind catcher will also feature a “banger”, which is an object hanging in the center, banging into the surrounding items as the wind catcher moves in the breeze.

This is what causes the chime effect.

Finding Items for DIY Wind Chimes

Since most wind chimes are circular, find a colorful plastic lid you can use as the top of the wind chime. If you don’t have a colorful lid, you can paint any lid the color of your choice.

The best thing about a homemade wind chime is you can use practically anything to make it: old silverware, bells, old keys, small decorative rocks, marbles, seashells, or even sticks. Collect an assortment of items and choose the ones that work best together.

Preparing the Lid

Find the center of the lid and punch or drill a tiny hole through it. Slide a piece of string or nylon thread through the hole and tie it in a knot on the top side of the lid. Measure out the string to your desired length and cut it.

Make additional holes along the outside edges of the lid, one for each chime. Keep the distance between the chimes as even as possible, so the chime will be balanced.

Hanging the Center Banger

Attach your chosen banger at the center point on the center string. The banger needs to be hard and large enough to make a noise when it bangs into the surrounding chimes—but not so heavy the wind catcher below it is unable to move with the breeze. If you choose something circular—like a small rock—wrap the nylon thread or string around it and tie it in a knot. Now apply a layer of non-toxic glue over the string to hold it in place.

At the base of the center string, attach your wind catcher. This can be anything with a large, flat or curved surface to catch the wind, like a smaller plastic lid or a large spoon.

Hanging Your Homemade Wind Chimes

Drill or punch holes through the tops of the chimes and the wind catcher before you attach them to the string so they will hang evenly when the job is complete.

When you hang the chimes, make sure the string is the right length for the banger to hit them all. You can make some strings longer than others in order to give your wind chime a unique look, but remember it must be balanced in order to work properly. If you make one chime short, make the chime directly across from it short as well.

Finishing the Wind Chime

Punch two more holes in the lid, evenly spaced apart. Slide thread through one side and tie it in a knot on the bottom side of the lid. Measure out how much thread you want for your hanging loop and cut the thread. Slide the other end of the thread through the second hole and tie it in a knot on the bottom side of the lid as well.

Find a low tree branch or hanging eave where you can hang your homemade wind chime.

Now, sit back and listen to its soothing music.

This story was rewritten from an earlier version by Dave Donovan. It was published on realtor.com. See it here.

The Force Is Strong in This Child’s Bedroom

Who needs a night-light when you have a pair of Jedi masters to fend off monsters under the bed?

The Force Is Strong in This Child’s Bedroom

While some children get to stake claim to their very own bedroom castle, this lucky child has the privilege of basking in the neon aura of Yoda and Jules Winnfield Mace Windu. The bedroom mind trick has a full-on space opera in mural form, complete with a fighter battling a walker and a host of moons, stars, craters and planets found in a galaxy far, far away.

And that’s not the only piece of art found within this Las Vegas, NV, home. The $1.59 million contemporary offering also rocks a cherub-rich ceiling mural in the master suite. Set above a black leather round bed, the whimsical scenery is the perfect complement to this palatial bedroom setting.

From Realtor.com

In addition to its wall art, the luxury home offers plenty of room to move with five bedrooms, six baths and an open floor plan of more than 5,200 square feet. Interior highlights include vaulted ceilings in the living room, numerous built-ins and custom cabinetry. Outside, an infinity pool and spa wrap around the back portion of the home. Behind the pool, a stairway leads from the patio to a recessed sports facility with a pair of basketball hoops and a tennis court.

From Realtor.com

From Realtor.com

This listing is presented by Kamran Zand of the Kamran Zand Group.

This article was written by   on realtor.com. For the article source and more photos, click here.

Stop Real-life Bedroom Nightmares

Crib Detail w/childKeep kids safe from bedroom dangers, and you’ll all sleep soundly.

Your child’s room may have soothing pastel walls and toys that play lullabies. But cute details won’t ensure kids’ safety. Moms and dads need only do a little homework to easily prevent hazards.

Cribs 
Crib slats should be spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches (60 mm) apart. Parents who use vintage cribs and furniture (or pieces from their childhood rooms) should make sure they meet this standard. Also, make sure kids’ furniture does not contain lead paint. Check to ensure that the mattress fits snugly into the crib so the baby cannot become trapped between the mattress and the crib. Remove above-crib mobiles when infants are 6 to 9 months old. If they can reach an alluring mobile, they can grab it, pull it down and risk choking or strangling.

Sleepwear
Kids may clamor to sleep in comfortable oversized T-shirts, but parents should not let them. Cotton and cotton-blend garments, especially super-sized ones, are easily ignited and can cause serious burns. Federal law requires that all sleepwear for kids 9 months and older be flame-resistant or snug fitting. Government figures show that burns are a top cause of death among children 14 and younger. And, according to recent data from the National Safety Council, some 540 kids died in fires or from burns in a single year.

Toy chests
Inspect any toy chest to be sure it is not airtight since young children sometimes like to crawl in that little space to hide or explore. If necessary, drill holes in older models for ventilation. All toy boxes should have hinges that won’t nip little fingers and a lid that isn’t so heavy it can crush small hands.

Small items 
Adults’ bedrooms are havens for jewelry, buttons and pins that held dry-cleaned items on hangers. You may not notice if these tiny pieces fall on the floor. But curious crawlers or toddlers may find them, and possibly try to eat them. Be sure to regularly scan night tables and carpeting for these items, to reduce choking hazards and eye injuries, says Connie Harvey, a health and safety expert for the American Red Cross.

Furniture
Cover sharp edges that can gouge a child’s eye or cut kids’ heads. Rocking chairs can pinch small feet if a child grabs the chair while standing close to it. Wedge a book under the rocker to prevent it from moving and crushing a child’s hands or feet.

This article was originally published by June Bell on realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.