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We all know to keep bleaches and household cleaners in a locked, child-proof cupboard, but accidental child poisonings rose by some 11% last year according to the Child Accident Prevention Trust. How can this be?
It seems that detergent capsules have become more and more popular in homes: less packaging means they are environmentally more friendly and more economical to produce, less water content means they are cheaper to transport and less wasteful, so supermarkets and families have opted to buy them over the regular hefty boxes of detergent.
However, what we don't possibly realise is that the liquid inside the gel capsules is even more concentrated and therefore even MORE harmful for young children. They are soft to touch, often a nice, bright colour, easy for little hands to hold... and more worryingly just the right size for a little mouth to nibble!
The storage containers they come in are often very easy to open too. Last year, two hundred inquiries logged at the Child Accident Prevention Trust, were about these detergent capsules.
They are a new range of products that need to be treated with utmost caution and extreme care if we are to reduce the number of potentially dangerous accidents in the home.
Here's a reminder about storing household products:
- All household chemicals and cleaning products should be out of sight and in cupboards with child-proof locks.
- All harmful substances should be out of reach (not just under the sink or behind the toilet!)
- Move all cleaning products away from reach if you are interrupted by the phone or a visitor during your cleaning.
- Choose household cleaning products with child-resistant caps - but remember some children are ultra dextrous and can still open them!
- Opt for detergents/cleaners with a bittering agent which gives them a horrible taste and helps stop young children from swallowing them.
- Remember that all cigarettes, alcohol, perfume, aromatherapy oils and mouthwash can be poisonous to children.