Monday, October 11, 2010

Keeping a safer home...

The next time you open your kitchen or medicine cabinet, take a close look at the items stored inside. If you are like me, you will find a variety of products from household cleaners, to personal care products and medicines. You depend on these items and are so used to having them in your home, but have you thought about how harmful and toxic they can be to your child or pet?

Lets take a look at some potential harmful products and strategize how to keep healthier, safer products in our homes.

I have come across an amazing line of home products that I now use exclusively in my home. They are more affordable than most brands your finding at the supermarket, costco, etc. and more importantly they actually work! I will share more about these soon...but for now...back to prevention.

Make sure ingredients are clearly listed
Whether you contact a poison control center or a doctor during an emergency, a list of ingredients is important for quick assessment and assistance. If you don't know the contents, treatment may be delayed until the contents are identified.

Wouldn't t be nice to eliminate these products from your household entirely!?

Choose the right product packaging
Many products are available in spray-pump, aerosol or twist-off cap containers. Select the spray or aerosol container because a child may be exposed to larger quantities of potentially harmful substances if the contents can be poured, rather than sprayed. If using harmful products always make sure they are in child-resistant packaging!

Can you imagine not having to be concerned with safety caps because the products your using are not toxic?!

Give your children vitamins without iron
Unless specifically recommended by your pediatrician, choose a multivitamin without iron for your child. Children's vitamins account for a large number of childhood poisonings because the vitamins are designed to attract children (usually chewable tasting like candy). Vitamins with iron can cause serious reactions in children.

Use an non-alcoholic mouthwash
Unless your dentist recommends otherwise, switch to a non-alcoholic mouthwash. Mouthwash attracts children because of its bright color and sweet minty taste. When swallowed by your child, alcohol can produce serious toxic effects, requiring medical treatment for children.

Mothballs/flakes contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Naphthalene is three times as poisonous as paradichlorobenzene and may cause dangerous blood problems in children.

Prevention is crucial!

Baby powder
Use pure cornstarch baby powder rather than powder containing talc. When dust particles of talc enter the lungs, either through inhalation or swallowing, serious chemical pneumonia may result.

Nail polish remover
Choose a non-acetone nail polish remover. The active ingredient in non-acetone nail polish removers is ethyl acetate which is much less toxic to children than acetone.

Rubbing alcohol
I was no aware of this, but there are several types of rubbing alcohol preparations. Some are clear and contain isopropyl alcohol. Some are green and contain oil of winter green and isopropyl alcohol. The addition of the oil of wintergreen not only gives the alcohol its green color, but masks the smell with an attractive wintergreen aroma — much like candy. Both preparations are dangerous, but clear rubbing alcohol is the safer alternative. The green preparation is much more attractive to children and much more toxic if swallowed.

All insecticides contain potentially poisonous substances. However, the safest choice to make is a product containing pyrethrins. The side effects from exposure to pyrethins may be less dangerous than exposure to other commonly used insecticide ingredients.

Remember, even the "safer alternatives" are not completely harmless, and any exposure to these products should be taken seriously. Call the Poison Control Center if you have any concerns: 1-800-222-1222.

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