It’s something every parent dreads — opening the door to the bathroom and finding their toddler sitting there unsupervised. And while it can be tempting to laugh along when they drop a doll in the toilet or unravel a roll of toilet paper, it’s important to teach your kids about bathroom safety and responsibility at a young age.
Here at Mr. Rooter, some of the biggest problems we see are caused by your family’s smallest members. Teaching your kids the basics of plumbing is a great way to prevent future problems and ensure they grow up understanding basic plumbing skills.
The toilet isn’t a garbage can. (Ages 2+)
To a little kid, toilets are pretty cool, fun toys—you can throw anything in and make it “disappear” with the push of a handle. One of the first things you should teach your kids is that only three things should go down the toilet. The earlier you teach your child what can go into the toilet, the better your chances are of avoiding a clog, burst pipe, or cracked bowl.
Don’t let the water run. (Ages 3+)
When they’re brushing their teeth or washing their hands, teach your kids not to let the water run. Little kids may not know what the term ‘water conservation’ means, but that doesn’t mean they’re too young to practice it. Ensure they understand that water is important, and just like anything else, we shouldn’t waste it. When they’re in the bathroom, please encourage them to turn the water off when they’re brushing their teeth and not playing with water in the sink. As they get older, explain to them the importance of water conservation and steps they can take to preserve water, like taking shorter showers.
What does (and doesn’t) go down the garbage disposal. (Ages 8+)
When your kids get a little older and can use the garbage disposal, make sure you talk to them about what can and can’t go down the drain. Unfortunately, this is something even a lot of adults don’t know —what you shouldn’t throw down the garbage disposal. A good rule of thumb is to throw only small pieces of food down the disposal after a meal.
Teach your little one never to throw any of the below into the garbage disposal:
- Grease, fats, or oils used for cooking
- Stringy, fibrous vegetables
- Coffee grounds
- Foods that expand in water, like pasta
- Bones, stems, and fruit pits
How to use a plunger. (Ages 10+)
First things first, teach them the difference between sink and toilet plungers (because the last thing you want is to find them using a toilet plunger in the sink). Then, teach them how to unclog a toilet with a plunger.
How to turn off the main water valve. (Ages 12+)
A leaking or burst pipe can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. If something should happen while your teenager is home alone, they must know the following :
- Where your home’s main water valve is
- How to shut it off
Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Central PA has been assisting homeowners with their plumbing issues for decades, and our expertise is unmatched! To learn more, give us a call at (717) 516-2673 or fill out our form to request an estimate online!
About the Author: Paul Nelson, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Central PA
Paul has been a trusted Mr. Rooter owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Central PA since 1983. With over 37 years to back him, Paul has experience with a wide range of plumbing related solutions and systems. He and his team specialize in septic tank services, water softener installation, and more.