What are the Risks to Children in Homes, Day Care Centers, Schools, and Summer Camps From the Ingestion or Exposure to Chemicals, Poisons, and Common Household Goods?

Laundry Bottle While children are under the care of parents, relatives, neighbors, friends, day care centers, schools, or summer camps, there are some common household items, poisons, and cleaners that pose a significant risk of injury to children. Let’s take laundry detergent pods. It has been reported that over 30 children per day get into liquid laundry packets or pods. Keep in mind that children especially toddles and infants are curious. The bright colors of a laundry pod or packet (to a child) seems like a fun object to play with and even put in the mouth to play with or eat. Many such laundry pods seem like a big soft piece of candy or like a soft toy to play with. Of course, the purpose of these laundry pods or packets are to clean clothes and not to serve as a toy or play item. This goes the same for other common household or day care items like bleach, bug spray, industrial cleaners, etc. . . . It is also well known that children are wonderful and mischievous explorers and adventurers. In other words, children get into places where they do not belong because there is a certain challenge and thrill in getting into places where they should not be in.

As for the laundry packets, the United States Product Safety Commission reports that children can become quite ill from the ingestion or contact with the packets including but not limited to difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, severe eye burns, and vision loss. That’s right, these bright colored detergent pods and packets are quite dangerous.

Here are some safety tips that should be followed by all child care providers:

  • Keep laundry pods / packets, bleach, and other dangerous household items out of the reach of children;
  • Place these items in cabinets that are higher than the child’s reach that close and lock;
  • Keep all janitor closets, chemical closets, etc. . . securely locked so that children cannot go in;
  • To the extent possible, keep all poisons in child resistant caps and original packaging; and
  • Educate all staff members / family members of the importance of keeping these items out of the reach of children.

You can read more about the issues and dangers associated with laundry packets / pods at Emerging Health Risk: Every Day More than 30 Children Get into Liquid Laundry Packets.

If a child is injured due to the negligence of another person or entity like a day care center, school, or summer camp, a parent should seek out legal advice to find out the course of action that may be taken to recover damages including medical bills, lost wages of the parent, and pain and suffering of the injured child. The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Homeowner’s Insurance, Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.