Posted in Uncategorized

Hazardous Materials in the Home

Now that the kids are out of school, and spending more time at home, consider taking a look under your sink/in closets/garage, wherever you keep your cleaning chemicals. Most cleaning agents are not safe for children to be around but come in fun colors. Window cleaner, dish soap, laundry detergent pods, Comet (remember the revised jingle with this one?)

Did you know that some chemicals cannot be mixed or even stored together? Ammonia + bleach = potential lethal fumes; actually, bleach mixed with other cleaning agents is just not a good idea. Antifreeze comes in a lot of neat colors but is toxic to humans as well as animals. Drain cleaners can lead to chemical burns or toxic fumes, mothballs (does anyone still use these?), and believe it or not, windsheild washer fluid – which is toxic to drink or get on skin as it can be absorbed through contact with skin. Hydrogen Peroxide mixed with cleaners with Sulfuric Acid in them can result in an explosion.

So, now we know what could happen if kids or pets get into the cleaners, how can we prevent either from playing with them or attempting to drink them? Here are some tips:

  • Cupboard locks – works with kids and pets – my cat has figured out how to open cupboards, nothing is safe
  • Place cleaning materials on a high shelf
  • Ensure caps are on tight and there are no dripping cleaning fluids
  • Lock cleaning materials up
  • If a spill occurs, clean up immediately, do not let baby or pet get into the spill
  • Some items are garage items – store on a shelf, tighten the lids
    • Vehicles leak occasionally. If you notice a spill, clean it up with the recommended cleaner – this also saves on garage flooring
  • If children or pets exhibit behaviours and you can find what they took, call poison control – they will be able to give you better instructions or take the bottle with to the ER or the Vet
  • Natural products can be lethal as well
  • Plants can be great to keep pests away but can also be toxic to children and pets
  • Pool chemicals should never be used by children – read instructions carefully – too much chlorine can result in chemical burns
  • Outdated chemicals or corroded cans should be disposed of properly and replaced

Kids and pets get into everything and it isn’t always possible to see what they are getting into at all times. By taking precautions, you reduce the likelihood of an accidental poisoning.  Stay safe and enjoy the summer!

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