Your Health Lindsay Guinaugh | 8 years ago

Top Tips for Healthier Spring Cleaning

While the word poison conjures images of a container clearly marked with a skull and cross-bones, harmful chemicals and substances exist almost everywhere our families spend time.

Household cleaners, air fresheners and lawn care chemicals all pose risks to both children and adults. “We do tend to see more poisoning from household items in the spring, because families are cleaning house and working in the yard and garage more,” said Andy Gunter, MD, of University Pediatrics, part of Carolinas HealthCare System. “That’s where many of these poisonous cleaners and chemicals get misused or end up in the hands of children.”

According to Dr. Gunter, reading labels, following usage instructions and knowing what to do when an accidental poisoning occurs are all equally important when it comes to managing the threats that exist in your home – during spring cleaning and all year long.

“Everyday items in your home can be poisons if they are used in the wrong way, in the wrong amount or by the wrong person,” said Dr. Gunter.

Common household products that may be harmful if misused:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Plug-in air fresheners
  • Pesticides
  • Lawn or garden fertilizer

If you’re planning to give your house and yard a good spring cleaning, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use cleaning products in a well-ventilated are (open a window or use a fan).
  • Limit exposure to solutions with a strong smell. Bleach, gas and strong-smelling cleaners should be used quickly and then closed tightly.
  • Keep all potentially poisonous items locked up and away from children.
  • Teach small children not to put anything in their mouths or on their skin without talking to a parent or caregiver first.

If a poisoning occurs, call Carolinas Poison Center any time, day or night at 800-222-1222.

Carolinas HealthCare System is committed to making it easy to keep you and your family healthy. To learn more about how we make health easy for you, visit CarolinasHealthCare/CareMadeEasy.