Hazardous materials – childproof your home

Hazardous materials - childproof your home

Your home is a playground. Don’t believe us? Place any infant or toddler in your home and watch as, within seconds, they begin to entertain themselves with everything within reach. If there’s a coaster on your coffee table, that’s going in their mouth. If there’s a remote control left unattended by the TV, that’s getting thrown across the room. Things you’d lost and forgotten about will magically appear from under the sofa and behind the bookshelf, all to be chewed, bashed against the dog, and put inside a low-level drawer as a nice little surprise for you to find.

But on a serious note, there are real hazards in your home. Aside from obvious things like asbestos that should be removed (see how does asbestos cause lung cancer?), let’s look at how you can childproof your home against the threat of children coming into contact with hazardous materials. 

Medicines look like sweeties

Medicines look like sweetiesThere’s a reason kids are known for grabbing at medicines – pills look like the kind of treat that adults produce from brightly colored packaging and feed to youngsters to giggles and smiles and sugary joy. People often believe that medicines are safe from little hands if they are kept by the bedside, at low levels in the fridge, or in a rucksack or work bag. These are ideal places for young ones to go exploring. Always keep medicines out of reach in a medicine cabinet or kitchen cupboard. 

Household chemicals

detergent tabletsCleaning chemicals (e.g. bleach) and detergent tablets for use in the dishwasher or washing machine are all too often kept in low level cupboards. Again, the brightly coloured packaging suggests to children that they have stumbled upon something that should be put in their mouths. Placing childproof locks on these cabinets can help to reduce the chance of any accidents, as can vigilance against leaving such chemicals unsupervised while answering the phone or running a bath, for example.

Things you haven’t considered

Hazardous materialMost of us like to think ourselves reasonably savvy when it comes to childproofing our homes. However, mundane and everyday objects can have profound implications if they fall into the hands of children. This could include cigarettes, perfume, and mouthwash. The garage or garden shed also poses a risk in terms of potentially exposing youngsters to weed-killers, pesticides, anti-freeze, paints, and paint thinners. You may think that a closed container is a deterrent, but children aged 3-4 are capable of conquering most basic lids and caps.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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