May14

5 Dangerous Household Items to Keep an Eye On

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by Greg Jensen on May 14, 2013

Household products are meant to help spruce up our home, keep items in working order, or keep surfaces sanitized for our health. But, even though these products are supposed to help us, they can also cause great harm. Below are five of the many common household items that are dangerous to your health. You might be surprised by what makes the list.

1. Irons: According to the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, clothing irons cause burn injuries every year. Many of those burn injuries involve children under the age of three. Irons can heat up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and can take 90 minutes to cool down, making them a dangerous appliance to leave sitting around. Curious toddlers who want to learn about the world around them might pull on the iron’s cord and cause the iron to topple over and possibly cause injury. Make sure to safely store your iron when it’s not in use, and put it out of children’s reach until it cools down.

2. Bleach: Bleach is, according to the Cleveland Clinic, a sodium hypochlorite solution. This solution is corrosive to the skin and lining of the mouth, nose, and throat. The fumes can also irritate the respiratory tract and eyes. Bleach should never be mixed with other cleaners, including toilet bowl and drain cleaners, and especially ammonia. Mixing bleach with these cleaners can create a gas that can cause dangerous breathing problems and even death. Keep your cleaning products and bleach in a locked cabinet or install a child safety latch on your cupboards to make sure cleaning products with bleach stay out of small hands.

3. Space heaters: According to Parenting.com, the Consumer Product Safety Commission states that from 1999 to 2002, nearly 10,000 residential fires in America are associated with space heaters every year. On a smaller scale, more than 5,000 people are treated for burns from space heaters. If you use a space heater, make sure the area around the heater has been cleared. Don’t leave your space heater on all day or night, and be sure to unplug it when it’s not in use.

4. Antifreeze: According to the Cleveland Clinic, antifreeze is highly poisonous. The product contains ethylene glycol, which is used as a medium for convective heat transfer. If swallowed, antifreeze can cause tremendous damage to the brain, kidneys, and heart. Inhalation of antifreeze can cause dizziness. It’s is dangerous for pets, and because of the sweet smell, the product can attract pets to it, but imbibing the fluid can spell danger for your pet’s health. Store your antifreeze in an out-of-reach place, safe from your children and pets.

5. Laundry and dishwashing detergent: You may not think of laundry or dishwashing detergent as dangerous, but according to the Cleveland Clinic, laundry detergent can contain cationic, anionic, or non-ionic solutions. If ingested, cationic detergents can cause severe symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, convulsions, shock, and even coma. Non-ionic detergents, on the other hand, can irritate the eyes and skin. Keep these products in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf, so your children do not hurt themselves with them.

As long as you’re conscious of storing products and appliances carefully, you and your children should be safe. If you want to avoid keeping harmful chemicals in your home altogether, instead of using chemical-laden products, you can use human-friendly products like water, soap, baking soda, and vinegar to clean. If you have additional tips for avoiding harmful products or appliances in your home, please share in the comments!