Roto-Rooter plumbers in Manhattan have found some strange things when fixing or unclogging toilets. Some of the items create a mystery as to why or how they got in the toilet in the first place, but others paint a pretty clear picture. When a plumber finds a toy or other strange object in the toilet line, and the home has a small child living in it, it’s pretty clear who is responsible. Parents with small children should take some steps to prevent these problems from happening, not just for the health of the plumbing, but for the health of the child as well. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to keep kids from abusing toilets.
There are child safety locks available which can be purchased and installed on any toilet seat to prevent small children from lifting the lid. This may create a slight inconvenience for adults and older children to lift the seat, but it makes it near impossible for the tiny hands of toddlers. The child may still flush the toilet, which can waste water, but they won’t be able to throw anything in the bowl and without the excitement of watching the flush, they are much less likely to pull the lever. Instead of installing a safety lock on the toilet lid, you could choose to install one on the bathroom door, but you will need to make sure you keep the bathroom door closed at all times.
There is a valve behind the toilet, which can be closed to prevent water from running to the toilet. You may choose to keep this valve off except when you actually need to use the toilet. This way, as many times as the child may flush the toilet, the water will only exit the bowl once, and the tank won’t refill until the valve is switched back on.
Once the child is getting old enough to be potty trained, you should be able to teach them to operate the toilet correctly. Teach them when it is appropriate to flush the toilet, and when it is not. Walk the child through the entire process of a regular bathroom visit. Once the child understands the purpose of the toilet and begins to use it as intended, their interest in it will decrease. Eventually, a child will naturally exit this phase of mischief, but by using one or more of these prevention tips, you can make sure you can get safely through the phase without having to call a plumber for costly repairs.
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