NOTE: I’m happy to work with the sponsor of this post, the American Cleaning Institute, to spread the word about keeping children safe from laundry detergent packets.
Of all the household chores I do on a weekly basis, laundry is my least favorite.
It never ends. Ever.
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When my kids were young, they sometimes wore 3 or 4 outfits each day, thus ensuring job security for me, the family laundress!
As we all know, toddlers and very young kids can be a handful. They can be impulsive and unaware of consequences but addressing safety issues found in any and every home can help prevent accidents. The laundry room is just one area that needs a safety check every once in a while.
Kids are naturally curious
What do we know about toddlers and young kids?
1. They’re short.
2. They’re curious.
3. They tend to put everything in their mouths.
4. They’re attracted to anything colorful and shiny.
All of that is really delightful, but in the case of the laundry room, those qualities can create safety risks.
Laundry room cupboards and drawers are right at their eye level, and their little hands are all too eager to check out anything and everything they contain. If something colorful or shiny is there, it can quickly draw the attention of curious toddlers.
Thankfully, the American Cleaning Institute has been on the job, monitoring safety issues with laundry packets all along. Their goal is to reduce the number of accidental liquid laundry packet exposures in children and to work closely with public safety officials and consumer groups to reach that goal.
7 ways to keep your laundry room more secure
Three houses ago, my “laundry room” was a tiny closet with a tightly fitted washer and dryer inside with very little room for anything else. I’ve also enjoyed the luxury of a full-size laundry room, large enough for a child’s bedroom. No matter where you do your own laundry, it doesn’t take much to minimize risks when young children are around.
Here are 7 simple steps to keep your laundry room safe for young children, particularly where laundry packets are concerned.
- Never let children handle laundry packets. What they see and handle likely ends up in the mouth, if not today then on another day when you’re distracted. Instead, keep a few small, colorful toys in the laundry area to keep little ones busy and distracted. For little ones older than 3 or 4, give them the task of sorting clothes – whites, lights, colors, towels, jeans. What little one doesn’t like to help out with important household chores? They’re with you in the laundry room, under your supervision, and are too busy with their play or task to be beguiled by laundry packets!
- Store the packets in their original container that has written safety instructions on the label. Take 2 minutes to read these now and understand the safety issues. It may be tempting to repackage these packets in a Pinterest-worthy decorative container, but resist the urge for safety’s sake.
- Make sure the container is securely closed after each use. This applies to all other products used in your laundry room.
- Store laundry packets up and away from little ones. Take a few minutes to reorganize an upper shelf or cupboard to make room for the detergent packet container.
- If your little ones are climbers, attach a childproof latch to each upper cabinet and drawer.
- In case the laundry packet or any other laundry supply is chewed, swallowed, or gets into their eyes, call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
- Post this phone number in your laundry room, just in case, and program it into your cell phone. Family members should also know where to find the number and what kinds of emergencies necessitate a call to Poison Control.
Take action now!
I remember when my kids were very young and how crazy life could be! It was also scary-easy to become distracted. It only takes a split second for a child to get into serious trouble.
Right now, take 10 minutes to complete the 7 tasks on my list for making your laundry room safe for young children. If a real emergency occurs, you’ll be ready to respond quickly.
For more information about laundry room safety and the #PacketsUp campaign,
- Go to PacketsUp.com for more information and to receive a free reminder cling to place in a
visible location as a reminder.
- Watch the “ Through Their Eyes” video to understand how to keep toddlers safe by seeing the world from their perspective.
- Follow the American Cleaning Institute and their #PacketsUp campaign on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to speed on the latest news on laundry room tips and safety.
In the comments section, let me know what you’ve done in your own laundry room to keep the little ones safe.
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