The Kitchen Zone



Protect Children from Hidden Household Dangers

(ARA) - From the day a newborn comes home from the hospital, a parent's job is to keep that child safe. Early on that means placing the baby on his or her back to sleep, using a federally approved car seat and crib, and making sure the baby doesn't roll off the changing table.

As the child gets older, ensuring safety becomes more of a challenge. Parents have to install gates around the home, put covers on electrical outlets, use cabinet locks on cupboards and drawers, and the list goes on.

"It's great that parents do all those things, but there's something a lot of people forget. Fumes from the common household chemicals they use to clean the floor and highchair, and even wipe down dirty counters, can make their child sick," says Bruce FaBrizio, inventor of Simple Green, a non-toxic, all-purpose household cleaner.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. poison control centers receive a call every 15 seconds about an accidental poisoning with 40 percent of calls involving a child under three years of age. Additionally, National Safety Council records show that over one million poisoning incidents each year involve children under six years of age. Exposure occurs from ingestion, inhalation, skin and eye contact. Researchers have found that many chemicals, even at very low exposure levels, can cause serious medical conditions in young children including brain damage, asthma, hormone disruption and cancer.

"If a child starts crawling around on a floor and touching surfaces that were recently cleaned, it only makes sense that residuals from the chemicals used will get into their system," says FaBrizio. "Young children are notorious for putting their hands in their mouths and eating off the floor."

The simple solution is to avoid cleaners which may contain dangerous chemicals such as bleach, ammonia or alcohol. Instead, use non-toxic and non-caustic cleaners. Mild soaps and all-purpose cleaners such as Simple Green are the safer cleaning choices to use when there are small children and pets in the house.

Simple Green can be used to clean appliances, floors, countertops, carpet, upholstery, and toilets, as well as, high chairs, strollers and car seats. The product is also great for removing dirt, juice, crayon, chocolate and other stains that kids get into. "Since it's so versatile, you don't need eight different cleaners in the home, just this one," says FaBrizio. Simple Green is sold as a concentrated all-purpose cleaner. Large economy sizes and wipes are also available.

In addition to changing the household cleaner they use, many pediatricians also advise new parents to do the following:

* Get into the habit of taking their shoes off at the door so they won't track dirt, oil, pesticides and other chemical residues into the home.

* Keep bathroom products such as medicine, first-aid supplies, hair styling products, nail polish and even toothpaste out of reach of young children.

* Don't forget the garage! Old paint, automotive products, fertilizer and other substances need to be moved out of a child's reach.

* Keep the number for poison control by the phone, just in case the unthinkable happens. This universal number works throughout the United States: (800) 222-1222. The dispatcher will forward consumers to the poison control center in their community.

* Obtain a "Poison Prevention: Read the Label First Community Action Kit" by calling the EPA at (800) 490-9198.

For more information about Simple Green products, go to

EDITOR'S NOTE: Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaning products are available through thousands of retailers across the country. The cleaner has been around since 1975. It was originally developed as a safer alternative to the toxic cleaners designed to remove tannic acid, a by-product of coffee roasting.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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