We put child proof locks on our cabinets, we take blankets out of their cribs, we put them on their backs to go to sleep… as parents, we are doing anything and everything to keep our kids safe. What happens when we’ve missed something? When our kids get into something that we didn’t even consider to be a harmful – the things that were “so obvious” that we just missed them? It’s like the story of when I was looking for my sunglasses all over the house, only to realize that they were on my head. It’s those ‘in your face’ things that we miss the most.
Think about your laundry room. You don’t expect your babies, toddlers, preschoolers or any age child to wander in there to play. You certainly don’t expect them to get a hold of a laundry packet but this could be the case if they’re not properly used or stored out of reach and sight of your little ones.
In fact, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 2016, poison centers received reports of 11,528 unintended exposures to highly-concentrated packets of laundry detergent by children 5 and younger. That number makes my stomach hurt. It makes my heart break. It makes me question if I have my own laundry packets up high enough, far enough out of reach. It made me check… won’t you check, too?
Since liquid laundry packets were first introduced to the US market in 2012, there have been thousands of calls made to poison prevention centers on children gaining access to detergent packets. While exposure rates decreased in 2016 from previous years, there is still work to be done in educating parents and caregivers on properly using and storing these products. This National Poison Prevention Week (March 19-25, 2017), I’ve teamed up with the American Cleaning Institute and their KEY Pledge Campaign, which educates the parents and caregivers about the proper use and storage of these convenient products. Together, we are raising awareness on the importance of practicing safe laundry habits in order to keep your families safe at home.
Tips on how to keep laundry packets away from your children:
- Keep them out of reach. We have a cabinet above our laundry tub that the kids cannot reach (I have to be on a stool, myself, to get them). This is where we keep our laundry detergent.
- Keep them out of sight.
- Store them in the original container.
- Lock the detergent packets up in a cabinet. Cabinet locks are simple to install.
- Put a Mr. Yuck sticker on it or a big red X. Explain to your older kids what it means when they see your symbol for danger.
- Take ACI’s KEY Pledge to a safe laundry room and routine (If you take the pledge, you are automatically entered into a sweepstakes* to win a $2,500 gift card for a laundry room makeover!)
- Download and print ACI’s activity sheet (see below) and go over it with your children. It will teach them what’s safe and unsafe to play with in the home.
Bottom Line: Learn what you can do and then put it into action. Take precautionary steps to keep your children safe. Take the pledge.
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends on December 31, 2017at 11:59 p.m. ET. Open to legal residents of 50 U.S. and DC, 21 and older. Void where prohibited. For Official Rules, go to http://www.keypledge.com/Keypledge/TermsConditions.html