Advice From Our Experts

Keep Your Child Safe from Household Cleaners and Chemicals

Raising two boys is both challenging and rewarding. Challenging in the sense that my boys love to explore and attempt to open doors and all sorts of closed objects. This includes brightly colored cleaning products and some household chemicals can cause serious injury or even death if swallowed. The more “sparkly” the household cleaner or label, the more attention it calls out to curious kids. There are things that can be done to reduce the risk of your child tampering with dangerous cleaning products at home. Simple things like closing the door to utility rooms and putting an affordable doorknob guard on the door could save you a trip to the emergency room.

Keep Your Child Safe from Household Cleaners and Chemicals

Pay Attention to Labels

If a cleaning product or chemical is harmful or you need to be careful using it, it will likely have one or more of these words on the label:

  • Caution
  • Danger
  • Toxic
  • Warning

What NOT To Do with Cleaning Products and Chemicals at Home

Do not remove labels! One of the biggest mistakes to make is to remove labels or allow them to get torn or damaged. Labels contain important safety information. Make it a priority to read the label and take it seriously. This will help keep your family safe from its potentially dangerous effects. Cleaning products should not be put in food or drink containers. This separates the label from the cleaner and anyone can mistake clear or colored liquids as drinkable.

Storing Household Cleaners and Chemicals at Home

There are a few things to consider when deciding where to store your products. All chemicals and cleaning products should be out of reach of children. If you place your products in a linen or storage closet, make sure that they are placed on shelves up high enough that children can't reach them. The door should also close tightly so pets can't get in either. If possible, it's safest to lock up hazardous products, even pills and medicine bottles.

Helpful Tips for Safety at Home

Tip 1: Cleaning materials should always be stored out of the reach of children and pets.

Tip 2: Install child-proof latches on under-sink cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. Even if cleaning materials are no longer stored there, chemical smells may linger and could be dangerous to a child if they play under sinks.

Tip 3: Store laundry products on high shelves because many detergents can cause rashes or itching on a child's sensitive skin.

Tip 4: Never leave a bottle or container of cleaning supplies open and unattended. Always close and put away the cleaning supply if you are interrupted. You do not want any temptation sitting around that may harm your child.

Tip 5: When cleaning, take only the proper amount you need from the container, seal the container back up and store the container away immediately. Use the proper equipment for handling the cleaning supply material, as recommended on the label. If the label says wear protective gear, gloves or goggles, do so to reduce harm to yourself and family.

Tip 6: When you are done cleaning, properly dispose of paper towels and rags that touched the cleaning chemicals.

Tip 7: Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers. Many cleaning products and chemicals have instructions on what to do if the product is used incorrectly, resulting in emergency. Create and keep a first-aid kit that includes emergency-wash liquids. In the first-aid kid, keep a list of telephone numbers for:

  • National Poison Control, 1-1-800-222-1222" aria-label="800-222-1222">800-222-1222
  • The nearest hospital
  • A local ambulance service
  • Your family doctor

My wonderful wife gave me my boys and it was life-changing for me as a father. I follow the seven tips listed above and must have upgraded our house a number of times to be safer and add more safety features over the years.

The next time you bring household cleaners and chemicals home, familiarize yourself with their labels and be aware of where your products are kept so you can help children stay safe.