We all know that we should keep dangerous home cleaners like bleach and ammonia away from children – either eliminating them from our cleaning regimen or locking them up out of reach. But while we carefully lock up certain products, others tend to slip by unnoticed, putting children at risk – and older children are not exempt from the need for a safe environment.
Are these 3 hazardous products making your home a danger zone? Be on the lookout for these common items.
- Toilet & Drain Cleaners
If you have young children, you’ve probably locked up your toilet cleaners somewhere safe, but parents with older children – those who know not to drink these chemicals – have a tendency to leave them in plain sight.
The problem here: many commercial drain cleaners are strong enough to eat through pipes. If they can erode and damage metal, imagine what an accidental spill could do to your child’s skin. Even if your child knows better than to touch these products, everyone is safer if they’re put away to avoid accidents.
- Pest Repellants
Termites, bees, rats, mice – no one wants these pests in their home. Termites can damage your home’s structure, mice and rats carry hantavirus, and bees cause a lot of terrified yelling and running about, even if they don’t sting anyone. Unfortunately, some of our attempts to ward off pests can be as dangerous as the pests themselves.
Take mothballs as an example. Maybe you stow mothballs with your winter clothes when you put them away in the attic. This simple action – aimed at preventing moths from eating holes into your favorite sweater – can be much more dangerous than most realize. Some mothballs contain paradichlorobenzene, a chemical linked to cancer in animals, while others are made from naphthalene, a chemical that can cause symptoms ranging from nausea and vomiting to red blood cell damage.
- Dishwasher Detergent
The dishwasher is a gift to all modern parents, saving hours standing at the sink cleaning bottles and dinner dishes. Many parents even teach young children how to load and run the dishwasher, considering it an age appropriate chore. But depending on what cleansers you use, the dishwasher can actually be a danger hot spot in your home.
Traditional dishwasher soaps and rinse aids can be toxic or cause chemical burns to the skin, difficulty breathing, and other health problems when used improperly. Luckily, brands like the Honest Company and Seventh Generation focus on non-toxic alternatives to common household cleaners. Swap out your standard detergent for a safer product before you let the kids run the dishwasher alone.
Keeping a clean home plays an important role in childhood health, but using the wrong products can be more dangerous than a little dirt. Always read the labels on your cleaning products and look for signal words such as “danger” or “poison” – these indicate a more dangerous product. Products without a signal word or those marked “caution” or “warning” are less harmful to your children’s health.
Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, which is why keeping dangerous chemical away from children is so important. Shop wisely and store products safely to ensure your family’s well being.