In 2013 there were 16,655 reports of children under 6 exposed to poisons that are easily found in our homes. In most homes you can find batteries, laundry detergent, medications, household cleaners, pesticides, gasoline, and paint, along with other household products. Many of these products, especially those that look like candy, can poison children. In addition to premade products you may have unmarked containers filled with chemical mixtures. When used and stored improperly, household chemicals can be dangerous to you and your children. You can make your home safer and healthier by reducing exposure to hazards in your home.
What can you do to make your home safer? Assess your habits and behaviors.
- Do you buy large quantities of household chemicals on sale and store them?
- Do you store pesticides, paints and/or gasoline in your attached garage?
- Do you keep medications in a locked cabinet?
- Do you store food separately from household cleaners, medicines and personal care products?
- Do mix chemicals and store them in unmarked containers?
TAKE ACTION! – Store, use, and dispose of products properly.
- Buy fewer hazardous products and choose carefully. Look for signal words like POISON, DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION on the label.
- Store products safely. Keep potentially hazardous products on high shelves or in locked cabinets, out of reach of children and animals.
- Use products safely. Use in a well-ventilated area and don’t mix chemicals like bleach and ammonia.
- Dispose of products properly. Contact your local trash provider to determine how to dispose of items like batteries, gasoline, motor oil, and medications.
- Never store chemicals in unmarked containers.
- Buy fewer harmful chemicals and use more eco-friendly products. Be wary of greenwashing.
For additional information on making your home healthier:
- Use the UGA Extension Childproofing Your Home Checklist as a guide to help provide a healthy home for your children.
- UGA Extension Poison Look-Alikes
- UGA Extension Hazardous Household Products