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Cleaning Chemicals and Children’s Safety

296BFE8195C4CCBF945DD88BC2F57055I may not have taken an interest in this topic before having a daughter, however the article ‘Tips for avoiding child poisonings’ really caught my eye. We are all focused on occupational health and safety within our workplace, nonetheless what about at home? Although some of the contents within the publication may be common sense, Professional Safety (2013) presents some worthwhile tips regarding protecting our children.

The article states the following tips:

  • Store chemicals up high and out of each of children
  • Store chemicals in their original containers and with their original label
  • Teach children to always ask an adult before tasting something new or different

A web search also revealed abundant literature regarding chemical safety with children. Choice magazine (2013) also suggests storing chemicals with their original labels and also having the poisons hotline (13 11 26) close by. The website also suggested having MSDS (material data safety sheets) available at home. I initially thought that this was a bit excessive, however if our children do swallow a chemical, the guidance the sheets give could save their lives.

The NSW government Fire and Rescue website (2007) also revealed some useful tips including, never mix chemicals and to lock dangerous chemicals away. Furthermore, the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia (2006) states “each year in Australia 140,000 calls are made to Poisons Information centers by concerned parents or carers of young children. 3,500 children under 5 years of age are admitted to hospitals because of poisoning annually, and 5 to 10 of these children die each year.” I guess the message here is that chemicals are dangerous and we need to protect our children.

Paul S

American Society of Safety Engineers 2013, ‘Tips for Preventing Child Poisonings, Professional Safety
Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia 2006, accessed12th May 2014,
Choice 2013, accessed12th May 2014,
NSW government Fire and Rescue 2007, accessed12th May 2014,