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Keep Safety in Mind When Cleaning House, Experts Advise
Date:3/27/2011

SATURDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- With spring-cleaning season here, the American Cleaning Institute reminds adults to protect family members and pets from accidental poisoning.

In conjunction with National Poison Prevention Week (March 20-26), experts offer advice that should be followed year-round:

  • Never assume a cabinet is too high for a child to reach. Cleaning supplies, medicines, cosmetics, chemicals and other products that can cause poisoning should be stored in cabinets with child-safety locks.
  • Properly close child-resistant packages after use. Keep in mind that "child-resistant" isn't the same as "child-proof" and is not a substitute for storing products locked away from children.
  • Always read and follow the directions on product labels. Pay special heed to products with labels that include "Caution," "Warning," "Danger" or "Poison."
  • Don't throw away original packaging. Household product labels include first-aid information that will be needed in case of accidental exposure or ingestion. For thrifty shoppers who buy products in bulk quantities, it would be wise to purchase a smaller size of the same product and refill the container as needed.
  • Dispose of empty cleaning containers, including detergent jugs. Never use them for storing other materials, especially not food items.
  • Always wash your hands after using cleaning products. Utensils used to measure or dispense medicines should be thoroughly washed with soap and water or placed in the dishwasher.
  • Use one household cleaning product at a time. Mixing products together could produce harmful fumes or other dangerous chemical reactions.

The institute also warns about products meant to be mixed at home. "We completely understand that Americans exhibit a can-do and do-it-yourself ethic in all facets of life, including make-your-own cleaning products. But there's often little safety, use or ingredient in
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