Should You Be Concerned?
Do you have these products in your house: bleach, rat poison, mothballs, charcoal lighter fluid, oven cleaner, batteries, mercury thermometers, gas, oil, wood polish, toilet and drain cleaners, shoe polish, bug spray? Some household products like these are dangerous for your children. Household products are called hazardous if they can cause harm when not used properly. Not every product is hazardous and some are more dangerous than others.
You can use most products safely if you follow the directions on the label. Doing things that are not on the label can be risky for your health and your family's. For example, people get in trouble by using too much of a product, or by mixing two products together. Children can be poisoned if you store or throw away products unsafely. Children's bodies are small, so even a little bit of some chemicals can cause big problems.
Eating or drinking a hazardous product is dangerous, of course. Also, just touching or breathing some products -- even a very small amount of them -- can be harmful. They can burn your skin or eyes just by touching them. They can make you sick if they get into your body through the skin or by breathing in dust or fumes. Sometimes a reaction tells you right away if you or your child has contacted a hazardous product. You may feel sick to your stomach or dizzy. Your skin may itch or burn. Your eyes may water or hurt. Other problems don't show up until later, like cancer or harm to your lungs. Also, being exposed to chemicals can affect a child's growing body.
You can protect your children and yourself from illness and injury. Use hazardous products safely. Store them carefully. Dispose of them properly.