Keep Safety in Mind When Cleaning House, Experts
-- Robert Preidt
SATURDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- With spring-cleaning
season here, the American Cleaning Institute reminds adults to
protect family members and pets from accidental poisoning.
In conjunction with National Poison Prevention Week (March
20-26), experts offer advice that should be followed
- Never assume a cabinet is too high for a child to reach.
Cleaning supplies, medicines, cosmetics, chemicals and other
products that can cause poisoning should be stored in cabinets with
- Properly close child-resistant packages after use. Keep in mind
that "child-resistant" isn't the same as "child-proof" and is not a
substitute for storing products locked away from children.
- Always read and follow the directions on product labels. Pay
special heed to products with labels that include "Caution,"
"Warning," "Danger" or "Poison."
- Don't throw away original packaging. Household product labels
include first-aid information that will be needed in case of
accidental exposure or ingestion. For thrifty shoppers who buy
products in bulk quantities, it would be wise to purchase a smaller
size of the same product and refill the container as needed.
- Dispose of empty cleaning containers, including detergent jugs.
Never use them for storing other materials, especially not food
- Always wash your hands after using cleaning products. Utensils
used to measure or dispense medicines should be thoroughly washed
with soap and water or placed in the dishwasher.
- Use one household cleaning product at a time. Mixing products
together could produce harmful fumes or other dangerous chemical
The institute also warns about products meant to be mixed at
home. "We completely understand that Americans exhibit a can-do and
do-it-yourself ethic in all facets of life, including make-your-own
cleaning products. But there's often little safety, use or
ingredient information offered by the purveyors of some of these
schemes," Nancy Bock, American Cleaning Institute vice president of
consumer education, stated in an institute news release.
"Safe use is built-in to formulated cleaning products. Many of
the mix-at-home concoctions don't come with those assurances," Bock
Post the Poison Control Center phone number (1-800-222-1222)
beside every phone in your home and enter it on your cell phone's
contact list, experts advise.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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The information in this article, including reference materials, are provided to you solely for educational or research purposes. Information in reference materials, are not and should not be considered professional health care advice upon which you should rely. Health care information changes rapidly and consequently, information in this article may be out of date. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.