Now that you have children in the house, you're probably cleaning more often than you used to. As you spray away, cleaning counter tops and floors, you may be wondering how the cleaning products in your home affect your children.
Here's how to keep your kids safe from cleaning products and chemicals.
Read the Labels
Labels are your best ally when it comes to protecting your kids from dangerous cleaning products.
If a product contains harmful chemicals, the label will contain one or more of the following words:
Do not remove the labels from your cleaning products, and do not store them in separate containers. Anyone can mistake a brightly-colored liquid for something that is drinkable, especially children and especially if the liquid is stored in a food or drink container.
Always keep your cleaning products in their original bottles with their original labels, which include important safety and use information.
Store Out of Reach
All cleaning products and chemicals should be stored out of reach of children. If you're storing these items in a closet, make sure that they are placed on high shelves and that the doors close tightly.
If you have a curious child who loves to climb or knows how to move chairs and climb, you may need to lock the closet door.
Keeping these products away from your kids is the best way to keep them safe. Many cleaning products come in brightly-colored bottles that are attractive to kids. Keeping these products out of reach will eliminate temptation and the risk of your child getting into these dangerous products.
Never Leave Cleaning Products Opened and Unattended
While this is a common-sense tip, it's so important that it needs to be repeated: never leave cleaning products opened and unattended.
If you have to dilute a cleaning product, take only what you need, seal the bottle, and store it away. If you're using a spray cleaner, keep the bottle within eyesight at all times.
When you're done cleaning, dispose of paper towels and rags immediately.
Choose Alternatives When Possible
Whenever possible, choose gentler products to clean your home or alternative solutions.
Instead of using dangerous cleaning products, use natural alternatives, like vinegar, baking soda or plain soap and water.
Instead of using toxic drain cleaner, hire a professional drain cleaning service.
Instead of using bleach (one of the harshest disinfectants), try using lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide.
Keep Medicine Locked Away
Cleaning products and chemicals pose the obvious threat to your child's health, but medications should also be locked away. Most homes have at least one family member who is taking medication for something. No matter the condition, these medications need to be out of reach of children at all times.
Be aware of all medications in the home, keep inventory of the pill count in each bottle, and store bottles high out of reach of the kids.
Remember that child-resistant packaging isn't childproof packaging. Kids can easily learn how to open medication bottles by watching you open them.