When we think about keeping our children safe and healthy, some things that may come to mind are making sure they are getting enough sleep or that they are getting the proper nutrition. We may not necessarily think of our homes as being an unsafe environment for our children, but the truth is, if not addressed appropriately, your home could be the cause of an accidental injury to your child.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 9.2 million children visit the emergency department for nonfatal injuries. To minimize the chances of an injury, families should babyproof their homes to keep their children safe from things that may harm them, including toxic chemicals. At Educational Playcare, one of our Core Values is Wellness because being in good physical health is important to us. In each classroom, we’ve taken the appropriate measures to ensure children are safe, including keeping cleaning supplies out of the children’s reach in cabinets with child-proof locks on them.
Many families are familiar with some of the items around the house that can be harmful to children. These items include:
- Cleaning products
- Automotive products like windshield washer fluid and antifreeze
- Insect repellants
- Products intended for pets such as flea and tick treatments
- Swimming pool chemicals
- Mold and mildew killing products
- Health and Beauty products like shampoos, conditioners, and cosmetics
- Weed killers and other lawn care products
Families should also be aware of the uncommon poisons such as the plants that children come in contact with in and around their home. These include:
- Apricot kernels
- Calla Lily
- Chinese Evergreen
- Dumb Cane
- Elephant’s Ear
- English Ivy
- Fishtail Palm
- Holly Berries
- Jerusalem Cherry
- Mountain laurel
- Rosary Pea
- Yew (holiday greens)
To help keep your children safe, try these tips:
- Store chemicals and pesticides in locked cabinets away from children.
- Use the safest products you can. Sometimes “green” products are a safer alternative, but not always.
- Be sure the lids on all products are replaced and tightened after every use.
- If you are using any type of insect or rodent trap, keep them out of the reach of children or assure that they are tamper resistant and child-proof.
- Do not transfer chemicals or cleaners out of their original containers.
- Help your children to identify poisons around your home. Products that are poisonous can be labeled with a sticker that children can recognize as meaning it is not to be touched.
If you suspect that your child may have come into contact with a poisonous substance call The American Association of Poison Control Centers immediately. They’re available 24/7 and can be reached at 1-800-222-1222.