Does your house turn into summer camp as soon as school gets out? Does it seem like you’re hosting the whole neighborhood on a daily basis? It’s great to be the “fun house”—the one where everybody wants to hang out. But, if that means you’re going to have a bunch of people coming through the door (especially children), there are some precautions you’re going to want to take to help keep everyone safe and keep you from being sued or on the hook for expensive medical treatments—or worse.
Gate your pool
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States” between 2005 and 2014. That’s just about 10 deaths every day, many of which could have been avoided with safety precautions to keep children out of the pool area, like a simple gate. Costs range significantly—but are obviously far less than the human cost of a loss of life.
Always watch the swimmers
A pool gate is meant to keep the pool area from being breached. But it’s equally important to always keep an eye on anyone in or around the pool. Despite the dramatizations we see on TV and in the movies, drowning does not typically involve flailing arms and loud splashing, and it’s easy to miss the signs. Familiarizing yourself with what it actually looks like and making sure there are always eyes on the swimmers is key.
Check your insurance
Even if you’ve been ultra-responsible with your homeowner’s insurance, you may not be totally aware of what is—and is not—covered. “Ah, summer. Longer days, better weather, and maybe even a little vacation time. You’re almost certainly ready (we sure are!), but is your homeowner’s insurance policy?,” asked Kin.” For example, do you know whether your homeowner’s policy will protect you if you build a fire pit in your backyard? Now is the time to find out.”
You’ll have to update your insurer if you’re building a pool, and things like trampolines and outdoor cooking devices may also prompt a review of your coverage.
Keep medications and toxic substances out of sight
Even if you took precautions with all the medications and dangerous substances like cleaning agents in the home when your kids were young, you may have gotten a little lax as they’ve grown. But, new little ones in the house may be curious, and their curiosity could prove deadly.
Put non-slip pads under area rugs
A slip and fall can be dangerous, and can also cost you financially. Securing rugs with an anti-slip pad can help. You’ll also want to make sure that people don’t walk inside with wet feet, which can cause them to slip and slide.
Check for allergies
So little Jimmy didn’t tell your husband he was allergic to nuts before he dove into that peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Oops. Making an easily accessible chart of everyone’s allergies and any other medical issues can keep this type of oversight from turning into a medical emergency. It also wouldn’t hurt to keep an EpiPen on hand.