Safely Storing Chemicals In The Home To Prevent Dangers To Children

It can be hard to keep your home entirely free of hazardous materials. Cleaning products, liquor, medications, make-up and other common household products can be poisonous to children. Safely storing chemicals is key to keeping your family safe.

Know Your Poisons: Identifying Items That are Not Childproof Products

An average household generates 20 pounds of hazardous waste each year, and can have up to 100 pounds of hazardous materials (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Read the label on all products used in your home, keeping an eye out for words like “caution,” “warning,” “poison” and “keep out of reach of children.”
Corrosive materials that dissolve or wear away other items can be extremely harmful to the skin or eyes. Explosive items can react when combined with other materials, producing toxic gases or other poisons.

Childproofing a Home: Products That Can be Poisons for Children

You may be surprised at how many everyday products can be hazardous to children, even if they are not labeled as such. Some examples are:

  • Auto items: Antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid and other materials may be found in your garage. The bright colors can be appealing to children.
  • Batteries: In addition to being choking hazards, these items are filled with toxins.
  • Cleaners: These items are typically filled with heavy-duty chemicals.
  • Cosmetics: If ingested, these products can be very harmful to children.
  • Drugs: Pills can look like candy, and liquid medications can look like a beverage to young children.
  • Hobby materials: Glues used for craft projects are often in brightly colored containers, which can pique a child’s interest.

Safely Storing Chemicals: Where to Keep Hazardous Poisons

Three parts of the home that are common places for chemicals are the bathroom, garage and kitchen.
In the bathroom, lock the medicine cabinet and the cabinet below the sink with childproof latches. All medications and cleaning products should have child resistant caps. Keep all products in their original containers so you can properly identify chemicals or medications.
In the garage, lock all chemicals like antifreeze, gasoline and windshield wiper fluid in a cabinet out of the reach of children.
In the kitchen, lock up all cleaning supplies and other chemicals and keep them on as high a shelf as possible. Store all products away from food and drink to avoid confusion. Don’t buy cleaning products with fruit on the labels, as children may confuse these items for food. Childproofing your kitchen is key to household safety.