Storing Cleaning Products When You Have Kids

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As a first-time mother, I am constantly learning the do’s and don’ts of raising my little girl. Now that my little one is 9 months old and mobile, I have been introduced to an entirely new set of challenges.

One thing I have learned over and over is DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE YOUR KIDS. Just when you think “Oh, she’ll never reach the table decorations,” or “This cup of water is fine right here, she can’t get to it,” I am proven completely wrong.

Now, small cups of water and table decorations are more of a nuisance, but when it comes to my baby reaching the cabinets under the sink, or potentially dangerous items in the house, I get a little frantic. Again, two weeks ago I would have told you I didn’t need to worry about locking the cabinets, because she couldn’t crawl. Today, my little girl is proudly standing at those same cabinets using the handle for balance.

It’s a big wake up call. Kids get into anything and everything they can. In the past, the obvious dangers were cleaners keep under the sink. But today, another potential danger involves a perfectly harmless activity: laundry.

According to results from a new survey released by the American Cleaning Institute, most people aren't being careful enough with their laundry detergent pods. The research found that 61% of parents polled store the packets or pods where kids can see or reach them. In fact, about 3 million households with children under age 4 store them right on top of the washing machine, which is a big no-no.

I hope that these tips can help you create a happy and safe home:

Storage of Cleaning Products and Laundry Pods

  • In addition to keeping products out of reach of children, keep products in their original containers with the labels intact. After each use, completely close the container. Immediately store it in an appropriate location out of reach of children, preferably locked in a closet or on a high shelf.
  • Bright and colorful single-load laundry packets or pods are a magnet for young children, who can mistake them for candy. These products present new hazards for ingestion, because of the high concentration of laundry detergents and chemicals. Parents should be extremely vigilent with where they store these products, keeping them out of sight and reach at all times when not in immediate use.

During Use of Cleaning Products

  • Follow all recommended product instructions, and pay particularly close attention to all "Caution", "Warning", "Danger", or "Poison" statements.
  • To prevent laundry pods from dissolving before use, you should always close the package and handle with dry hands.
  • Clean up any cleaner of chemical spills immediately after they occur.
  • Be sure to wash your hands after doing laundry, as well as any utensils you use to dispense or measure products.
  • Aim to take care of the laundry and other cleaning chores during your child's downtime (such as naptime). This will help to ensure your attention is not diverted while using laundry and cleaning products to help avoid unintended exposure.
  • If anything gets in the eye(s), then rinse immediately with plenty of water for 15 minutes and seek medical advice, as needed.
  • If on the skin or clothing, remove contaminated clothing and rinse skin well with water.
  • If swallowed, drink a glass of water or milk and contact the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) or doctor immediately.

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