Disclaimer – I am a paid blogger for the American Cleaning Institute.  However, all thoughts and opinions stated within are my own.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeptember is recognized as Baby Safety Month.  If you’re expecting or have a new baby in the home, now is a good time to make sure you’re fully prepared when it comes to safety. When you have babies and small children in your home, it’s important to be organized and keep all household cleaning products and medicine stored securely out of reach and whenever possible, locked away.  Keeping in mind how you store things is equally as important as what you store.

Linen closets/medicine cabinets – Many parents don’t consider the potential hazards in their bathroom cabinets and linen closets.  Hairsprays and hair gels, mouth washes, toothpaste and perfume can all be harmful if ingested.  Be sure that these items are stored in a locked cabinet preferably on the top shelf.  Rearrange linen closets to place safe items such as towels on the shelves that are within children’s reach.

Armoires and cabinets – Closed cabinets are a great place to store DVD’s, CD’s and electronic equipment including TV’s.  But make sure that heavy items such as stereo systems and TV’s are safely secured in your armoire or cabinet.  Heavy duty Velcro, available at most hardware stores, is a handy way of accomplishing this.  Additionally, secure the unit into the wall to prevent a tip over accident.  According to a 2012 report by the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, there were 25,400 trips to the emergency room between 2009 and 2011 for children under age 18 due to tip over accidents.  And there have been 294 fatalities of children under the age of 8 since 2001.

Pantries – Many potential choking hazards and poisons reside in our food pantries.  Items such as nuts, hard candy and popcorn as well as spices including cayenne pepper, chili powder and other hazardous items need to be stored on the top shelves of the pantry.  Keep pantry doors locked as an added precaution.

Toy Chests/Linen Chests – While this is a great space to store blankets and toys, it also could be extremely hazardous.  Install a slow-closing hinge so the top won’t fall on little fingers.

Garage and basement storage areas – Toxic chemicals such as bug repellant, lawn fertilizer and paint thinner should always be stored in their original containers so that in the event of ingestion you’re able to provide all of the information to poison control.  Keep all items in a locked cabinet and place a lock on the door leading to the garage or basement as an added precaution.  Don’t forget that items such as rakes, shovels, tools and lawn mowers are also dangerous for inquisitive kids! 

Laundry rooms – A laundry room is a high supervision area which means you should put a lock on the door to prevent a child from entering without your knowledge.  Single- load liquid laundry packets are being used more and more by parents but need to be stored and used properly.  This product contains highly concentrated detergent and should be treated like any other household cleaning product.  If not safely stored, the laundry packets can pose potential hazards attracting dangerous interest from young children leading to injury from ingestion or exposure to the eyes.

As soon as you bring single-load liquid laundry packets into your home and immediately after you finish using them during the laundry process, store them in their original packaging on a high shelf, preferably in a locked cabinet, out of reach and sight.

In the event of an emergency, keep the number for the Poison Help Line posted prominently in your home – 1-800-222-1222.

The American Cleaning Institute is urging people to get involved with their laundry safety campaign and to take the pledge to be the KEY to a safe laundry room and routine.  KEY stands for:

Keep single-load liquid laundry packets out of reach of children

Educate your family and friends about the safe use and storage of these new laundry products

You serve a key role in laundry safety

Every pledge will be entered into a sweepstakes* for a chance to win a $2,500 grand prize to help makeover your laundry room!

Curious to know how your home state is doing in the KEY Pledge?  Check out the KEY Pledge Map:  http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/clean_living/key_pledge_map.aspx.

* NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Ends on December 31, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. ET.  Open to legal residents of 50 U.S. and DC, 21 and older. Void where prohibited.  For Official Rules, go to http://www.keypledge.com/Keypledge/TermsConditions.htmlSponsor: American Cleaning Institute.