(BPT) - Sunnier skies and summertime fun are just around the corner, and with them comes plenty of outdoor activities like long days at the playground, sporting events and barbecues. With so many options, the last thing most people want to think about is household responsibilities … but all that outdoor fun can add up to a lot of laundry.
During the summer, when we’d all rather be outside, it can be all too easy to turn on the “autopilot” switch and rush through household tasks like laundry. However, during times like these it’s important to take the time to think about your daily routine and how to better incorporate safety. Kids are curious by nature and get into everything, making it vital that all laundry and cleaning products are kept out of reach of children.
In addition, with the recent introduction of single-load liquid laundry packets – a product that’s easy-to-use but needs to be handled differently than liquid detergent – it is a good time to revisit your laundry routine to ensure your children’s safety.
There are small things you can do before, during and after your laundry routine to help keep your laundry room as safe as possible during the summer months and throughout the year. The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) offers the following steps to help you take your laundry routine off autopilot:
Before you start your laundry:
* To reduce the risk of curious children getting into single-load liquid laundry packets, as soon as you bring them into your home, immediately store them safely away, either out of reach or within locked cabinets or drawers.
* Keep single-load liquid laundry packets in their original containers with the labels intact to prevent misuse. Teach young children that laundry products and their containers are not toys.
* Familiarize yourself with laundry product labels and know where the safety information is located on the label.
* In the event of an emergency, also keep the Poison Control Center phone number (1-800-222-1222) available at all times.
While doing laundry:
* Focus on your laundry routine and reduce distractions by doing this task in the absence of young children.
* Know exactly how to handle single-load laundry packets:
- Do not let children handle laundry packets
- Do not puncture or pull packets apart
- Packets quickly dissolve upon contact with water, wet hands, or saliva so it is necessary to keep them dry
- If packets rupture, they can release contents into the eyes
After you finish up:
* Always close the single-load liquid laundry packet container or pouch and make it a habit to put them away immediately after use.
* Never use empty single-load liquid laundry packet containers for storage of any other materials, especially for anything intended for human consumption.
As the kids enjoy the long summer days at home, enjoy the season along with them. Having a laundry routine that isn’t on autopilot will alleviate worries and ensure that your family is safe and healthy. For additional laundry safety information and ways to keep you and your family healthy, clean and safe this summer and during the months ahead, visit www.cleaninginstitute.org/laundry.