Keeping Kids Safe From Household Cleaners

Have you introduced precautions in your home to prevent accidental poisoning? Children and pets can get into nearly anything, including dangerous household chemicals. It’s important for parents to examine their home for things that could cause a safety hazard for their kids. Most households are full of chemicals that could be dangerous to children if not put in out-of-reach areas or locked cabinets. Kitchen and bathroom cleaners, bleach, laundry detergents, and even old cans of paint can pose a risk to children.

Basics of Poison Control

Household chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, are often used on a daily basis by many parents. These toxic products can potentially poison a child who swallows the chemicals or if they come into contact with eyes or skin. Even the fumes of these chemicals can lead to medical illnesses. The following household chemicals are some of the more common products that can be dangerous to children:

  • Household bleach
  • Chemicals used to kill mold and mildew
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • House paint
  • Antibacterial kitchen and bathroom cleaners
  • Batteries
  • Motor oil and antifreeze
  • Insecticides and other pesticides
  • Glass cleaner
  • Flea and tick control pet products
  • Nail polishes and removers
  • Drain-cleaning chemicals
  • Carpet shampoos and cleaners
  • Insect bombs and traps
  • Moth balls
  • Colognes, perfumes, and hair products
  • Furniture cleaners
  • Air-fresheners and sprays

Tips to Keep Kids Safe from Chemicals

Dangerous household cleaners and other types of chemicals should always be kept in areas that children cannot get to. Chemicals should be locked in a cabinet or put on a shelf that cannot be accessed by children, even with a stool. Chemicals cleaners and other products often come in colorful packaging that can attract young children. Just one taste of a household cleaner can lead to serious medical problems.

Quick Tips:

  • Always keep kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and other household cleaners in places that are out of reach of children. This can include behind a cabinet door with a child-safe lock or on a shelf not accessible by children. Never show a child how to unfasten the lock or allow them to see you undo it.
  • Never leave household cleaners or other chemicals unattended. This means that you should always put them away whenever you are done using them, and not leave them on counters, tables, or other areas around the home.
  • Ensure that children cannot reach personal care items that could be toxic. Perfumes, colognes, nail polishes and removers, and other beauty aids may contain chemicals and can be potentially dangerous to children.

When to Contact Poison Control

Even when being highly cautious with household chemicals, accidents can and do happen. These products can be touched, splashed, swallowed, or inhaled by children of any age – and it’s important that you’re prepared to deal with these types of situations if they ever occur.

  • Read the label on the chemical product that has come into contact with the child. If provided, follow the instructions provided related to poisoning.
  • If the product does not offer instructions, contact the poison control center. The phone number for the national poison control center is 800-222-1222. Write down and post this phone number in an easy-to-access area in your home.
  • If the situation becomes an emergency, always call 911 or bring the child to the nearest emergency room. Do this step first if the child becomes unconscious.
  • If any chemical products are splashed into the eyes of a child, rinse them with water in a sink or shower for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If a chemical product has been swallowed by a child, always call the poison control center immediately.
  • If toxic fumes from a chemical product are inhaled by the child, bring the child outdoors to breathe in some fresh air.

Household cleaners and chemicals are commonly used in homes, but can pose a threat to young children who come in contact with these products. With the right precautions, parents can reduce the risk of a child accidently touching, inhaling, or swallowing dangerous chemicals. Always follow these precautions to keep your child safe and healthy.

For more information about keeping children safe from household cleaners and other chemicals, use the following resources: