Hire the right people and do your research
First things first: make sure whoever is doing your renovations is suitably qualified and certified to carry out the works safely. Any short cuts during construction, demolition and clean up can have potentially serious consequences for you and your family.
If you are doing the renovations yourself, make sure you research precisely what is needed to undertake and complete the project safely and that you know what to do if you encounter any serious safety issues, such as uncovering asbestos.
Whenever your baby or toddler is up and about, ensure you practice active supervision and know where they are at all times. Toddlers have both an intense curiosity and the growing confidence to explore places and items they aren’t fully aware of.
Safety during home renovations is primarily about creating barriers between your baby or toddler and any hazards. Use sturdy plastic seals between renovations and living areas to prevent sawdust, stone dust and fumes from crossing over, and prevent any access by toddlers or young children into the area under renovation by locking doors or maintaining childproof barriers.
Locking away paints, chemicals and tools
Paints and chemicals should be contained and locked away or on the other side of a locked door during every stage of their use. They should never be kept in anything other than their original container; toddlers and children can be easily confused by vessels like drink and ice cream containers being used for the storage of these substances.
Preventing the build-up of fumes
Outside of works, ensure the house is well-ventilated to reduce the build-up of fumes indoors. When works are underway externally, make sure the windows and doors of your living and sleeping areas are closed.
Asbestos and mould
If renovations uncover any suspected or identified asbestos, it’s important to withdraw your family immediately from the area. You must contact a qualified asbestos professional to ensure the material is safely removed and disposed of.
If severe mould-affected or mildew-damaged materials are discovered, you should safely remove the materials as quickly as possible from the property and keep your baby or toddler away from any remaining surfaces until they are thoroughly cleaned.
Outdoor hardware and materials
Create a barrier between external areas that are being renovated and any areas where your baby or toddler play, and check the ground for any materials that have fallen into this area, such as nails, glass and timber off-cuttings.
All materials should be properly secured and stored and a barrier maintained to keep your toddler separate. Avoid storing any materials at heights.
After the renovations are complete
Check for debris in the renovated area, the adjacent areas and any access paths that have been used during renovations. Make sure the areas are thoroughly clear of any contaminants before allowing your baby or toddler to use them.