When a water damage disaster strikes, the water damage restoration professionals at All Nation Restoration do all the hard work of remediation. The damage restoration company provides fresh training, advanced technology, and innovative techniques to its staff, and all of the company’s property damage restoration services are customized to the client’s needs.
Plumbing Safety Principles for Children
Young children are fascinated by plumbing fixtures. A gentle tug on a toilet handle produces loud noises and a rush of water that swallows the contents of the toilet bowl. A turn of the faucet handle yields an endless river of warm or cold water. An empty bathtub transforms into a mini-water park for the weekly bath. However, these sources of enjoyment, cleanliness, and sanitation can also create a serious water damage disaster if improperly used.
Costly and disruptive water damage incidents can be prevented by educating children in the home with age-appropriate principles for plumbing use. These principles can be utilized when visiting family and friends. A water damage disaster in the home is bad enough but causing a plumbing disaster while visiting family or friends can be highly embarrassing to both the children and the parents.
By teaching children best practices for the care of the plumbing system, parents take steps to prevent water damage and save time and money. Three factors are key when educating children about plumbing:
- Begin early.
- Reinforce the principles with practice.
- Reward success.
Listed below are four important plumbing lessons that children can learn and the recommended age for beginning each lesson.
Lesson #1. What Goes in the Toilet
Target age: Preschool age and older
Flushing toys and other objects is highly unsanitary, especially if the child has their face directly over the toilet bowl. Foreign objects in the toilet can cause severe plumbing problems that can cascade throughout the entire drain system, even leading to a costly sewage backup. Only toilet paper and the bodily functions for which toilets were designed should go into the toilet.
Even adults make mistakes and flush clog-causing items down the toilet. These items include:
- Q-Tips and Dental Floss
- Paper Towels and Facial Tissue
- “Flushable” wipes
Toilet paper is specially engineered to do the job and then dissolve when flushed. Children should be aware that flushing too much toilet paper at once can clog the toilet — which leads to the next lesson.
Lesson #2. How to Unclog a Backed-up Toilet with a Plunger
Target age: 12 years and older
Plunger skill is a plumbing necessity. Encourage children not to panic if the toilet clogs. It is a common occurrence. Remind the children to plunge, then flush. Flushing before plunging can lead to a toilet overflow. Adult supervision is advised until the child is comfortable handling this task. Should the plunging efforts fail and the toilet begin to back up, the child should be trained to immediately turn off the water flow to the toilet.
Lesson #3. What Goes in the Garbage Disposal
Target age: 6 years and older
As a general rule, only very small plate scraps go into the garbage disposal. Grease, oils, fat, pasta, rice, and bones are some of the items that should not be put in the garbage disposal. Also, remind children to keep their fingers, hands, and eating utensils out of the garbage disposal.
Lesson #4. How to Turn Off the Main Water Valve
Target age: 12 years and older
To prevent widespread water damage due to a sudden leak, everyone in the home who is old enough should know the location of the home’s main water valve. A small child may not have the strength or motor skills to operate the valve, but they can direct a neighbor or family friend to the water main. Conduct an exercise with the children, showing them the exact location of the valve and how to shut it off. Let them try it a few times so they will have the confidence to act in an emergency.
Bonus Tip: The contact information for a pre-qualified water damage restoration company, such as All Nation Restoration, should be posted in a prominent, easily accessible place. In a property damage disaster emergency, one call can summon a competent, trusted, and vetted property damage restoration company.