With the arrival of longer, warmer days, you probably already have a list of spring cleaning projects, home repairs, and yard work to do. But every year, injuries from tools, ladders, and power tools lead to more than 350,000 emergency room visits. And those household cleaning supplies you’ll use for spring cleaning are responsible for some of the most common poison exposures for children.
So whether you’re working inside the house, up on the roof, or out in the yard, there are important safety rules to keep in mind and a First Aid Kit nearby.
Clean your house the safer way
Keep children (and yourself) safe from caustic chemicals and noxious fumes:
- Label all containers used to store cleaning solutions, even if they only contain water.
- Never store cleaning solutions in food containers.
- Follow the safety recommendations of cleaning products, such as wearing rubber gloves and working in a well-ventilated area.
- Never leave cleaning products unattended with small children or pets. If you leave the room, take the cleaning products with you or put them away out of reach.
- Don’t mix cleaning solutions; some chemical products can create a poisonous gas when mixed, such as bleach and ammonia.
- Properly store all yard and pool chemicals and household cleaners out of the reach of children and pets.
- Know about poison first aid
Yard work safety
Before you start your mower or climb a ladder, keep these safety pointers in mind:
- If you’re using power tools, check the cord for fraying and the rest of the tool for cracks or other damage.
- Never carry a power tool around by the cord, and when you unplug it, grasp the plug instead of yanking the cord.
- Start your lawnmower outdoors, not in your garage or shed, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Keep children far away from lawnmowers and power equipment.
- Work from the ground whenever possible, but in situations where a ladder is necessary, make sure it’s secure. Read your ladder’s height and weight limits before use. For every 4 feet of ladder height, the bottom of the ladder should be 1 foot away from the wall it’s leaning against.
- Don’t use a gas- or electric-powered mower on wet grass, and store your mower and all power tools in a dry place.
- Wear safe clothing for yard work: boots or heavy shoes, long (but not loose) pants, safety goggles, ear protection, and a face mask if needed.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen and/or bug repellent You might not think yard work is a picnic, but the bugs do.
The weather is finally getting nice enough to open your windows and spend some time outdoors, but don’t let spring fever cause you to make careless and dangerous mistakes. Enjoy your spring cleaning the safe way!