Spring 2015 Health Link Online

HealthLink Online

Uniting Children, Parents, Caregivers, and Health Professionals

Laundry Safety

Laundry Safety

Involving children with laundry tasks offers opportunities for interactive conversation and practice of some motor skills.  If you bring children into laundry areas, you’ll need to protect them from  hazards commonly found there.  Prevent child access to laundry detergents and other toxic products. Laundry machines can cause injury if children climb into them or hang on doors.

Empty dryers can tip over. Little fingers can be cut or crushed in machine doors or spaces that have sharp edges.

Recently, children have been poisoned by eating detergent pods. These single-use detergent pods are very concentrated, dissolve quickly when in contact with moisture and can be very toxic.  A small amount can cause irritation of eyes, mouth, throat, stomach and difficulty breathing. In one month in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported over 1000 cases of laundry detergent poisoning. Almost half were from detergent packets.

Products that promise to make colors brighter or fabrics whiter, and spot removers are toxic. So are fabric softeners. Read the labels of all the products in the laundry. When they say “Keep Out of Reach of Children,” put them where an adventurous child cannot get to them. Helping do the laundry should be a fun learning opportunity. Make sure it is safe too.

If a child has contact with a laundry product, call the Poison Center at 800-222-1222.Caring for Our Children STANDARD at www.nrckids.org lists the information that the Poison Center needs to be able to tell you what to do.