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COVID-19 School Closures Make Home Safety Paramount

Tips for practicing safe habits with cleaning products

COVID-19 has dramatically altered the daily routines of families across the nation. Just as busy working parents were adjusting to the ‘new normal’ and setting up their home offices, States have started to announce that school will be closed through the rest of the year. Households are bursting at the seams, while parents and caregivers are challenged with keeping hands, surfaces and clothing clean and disinfected.

With so many worries about COVID-19, one burden that can easily be removed affecting all parents with kids is home safety.

A recent survey conducted by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) revealed that 78 percent of adults wish their homes were cleaner. With the influx of cleaning products in many homes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, there is a potential hazard for young children. It’s easy to leave products out on the counter, such as hand sanitizer, and neglect safety measures, so I urge everyone across the country to pause, look around the house and take the necessary steps to address safety at home.

As a nationally recognized cleaning and safety expert at the American Cleaning Institute, I know how fast accidents can happen with little ones in the home – not to mention if they’re quarantined fulltime. They can occur throughout the house, from the medicine cabinet, to the kitchen and even the laundry room. This is a great time to remind everyone how to safely use and store these cleaning products around their kids.

In fact, the same ACI survey showed more than 67 percent of parents with children under age four said their laundry room is accessible to children. Although the laundry room is an essential part of household routines, it can often go overlooked when child-proofing the home. ACI’s Packets Up! child safety campaign is dedicated to helping families prevent accidental exposures to cleaning supplies, including liquid laundry packets – and keeping these items safely stored is the key to prevention.

Here are some safe habits and cleaning tips to help families cleaning for COVID-19:

  • Continue to clean with guidance from CDC and your healthcare provider.
    The most important steps parents can take is following the guidance from the CDC and their healthcare providers. Washing your hands with soap and water and proper cleaning and disinfecting practices are important help keep your family members from getting sick. As long as parents and caregivers are vigilant in immediately putting cleaning supplies up and out of reach of those at risk for exposure after use, everyone in the household can stay safe and healthy. If parents have questions about liquid laundry packets, visit PacketsUp.com to gain a better understanding of proper product use and storage.
  • Immediate move laundry packets and cleaning products to their safe storage place upon arrival in your home.
    When purchasing laundry packets and other household cleaners, have them bagged separately and then put them away – up high and out of sight and reach – as soon as you get home and unpack your groceries
  • Store all batteries, medicines, cleaning products and liquid laundry packets up high, out of reach and out of sight.
    From the garage to the laundry room, the best place to store medicines or liquid laundry packets is in an overhead cabinet secured with a child safety lock. If you don’t have a cabinet available, place the products (in their original packaging) into a larger bin with other laundry and household products and put it up high where those at risk won’t be able to see or access it. 
  • Always keep cleaning products in their original container with labels intact.
    These containers are designed to be child resistant and, in case of an emergency, have ingredients and poison control information clearly displayed on the label. the garage to the laundry room, the best place to store medicines or liquid laundry packets is in an overhead cabinet secured with a child safety lock. If you don’t have a cabinet available, place the products (in their original packaging) into a larger bin with other laundry and household products and put it up high where those at risk won’t be able to see or access it. 

To keep your home safe this spring, make sure you are prepared in the event of an unintended exposure. For more safe storage tips, visit PacketsUp.com. If you think someone has been accidentally exposed to laundry packets or other household products, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 and seek medical attention immediately.

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