Lock up your cleaning supplies, including those handy spray bottles

spray-bottleIt may be convenient to keep your spray bottle of bleach and other cleansers under the sink, but it’s really dangerous for kids.  A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics claims that while injuries to children from household cleaning products have dropped over the course of 15 years, the overall number remains way too high.  Products studied included bleach (the number 1 product associated with injuries), drain cleaners, ammonia, laundry soap, toilet bowl cleaners, dishwasher detergents, room deodorizers, etc.  Children ages 1-3 years accounted for 72% of the injuries.  The most common access to the chemicals came through spray bottles.

Our 16 month old granddaughter will be visiting us next week.  She is very curious, takes on toddlerhood with wild abandon and gets into everything she can.  Since we live alone, our child-oriented safety habits have become lax and need some attention. (I just realized we have some accessible toilet bowl cleaner and bleach spray in the bathroom!)

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests storing poisonous cleansers like these in locked cabinets, out of sight and reach of children.  Buy products with child-resistant packaging when you can find them, and keep spray nozzles in the OFF position.  Keep products in their original containers and don’t transfer smaller quantities to unmarked spray bottles.  And properly dispose of leftover or unused products, so little curious hands don’t pull them out of the waste basket.  And just in case you ever need it, the toll-free number for the Poison Center is 1-800-222-1222.

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