Repairing and cleaning
It is possible to childproof your home to a certain extent. But some chemical products may be needed in everyday life. In most homes, these end up in places where children do not usually spend time and where we believe the products are safe from their inquisitive fingers. But wherever you decide to put them, it is always good to have double barriers, for safety’s sake. Place harmful products where children cannot reach them, even if you do not think that they can get into the room. When children are a little older, it can also be a good idea to explain to them why certain products are dangerous so that they understand why they are kept hidden.
Car care products
Antifreeze, battery acid and petrol can cause serious harm, even in small quantities, if a child ingests them. You should therefore always store car care products somewhere children do not have access to.
Children are inventive. Work on the premise that they can also get into locked rooms and spaces. Therefore, you should always remember to put harmful products out of sight and out of reach. Pay attention to the warning labels and always follow the instructions on the packaging when you use the product. Never decant chemical products in alternative packaging, for example a soft drink bottle.
Keeping drain cleaner at home is dangerous as it can cause serious injuries. Think about whether you really need to have this product at home if you have small children. Drain cleaner, which contains caustic soda, also known as lye, can cause serious burns if you get it in your mouth, oesophagus or skin. In the worst case, a child who gets caustic soda in their eyes, will lose their sight. Instead, prevent blockages in the drain by wiping up fat from the frying pan and by running hot water through the drain from time to time. If there is a blockage in the drain, it is possible to use mechanical methods to unblock it, for example by cleaning it out by hand, using a plunger or calling a plumber. There are also drain unblocking products on the market that are not corrosive. Ask in the shop for help finding an alternative to corrosive drain cleaner.
If your child has swallowed a harmful chemical product or got it on their skin or in their eyes, call 112 and ask for poison information.
Washing detergent and fabric softener
Washing detergent is a chemical product that is a strong irritant when it comes into contact with the skin, mouth and oesophagus and sometimes also for the eyes. Be especially careful with single portion capsules as small children can easily put these in their mouth. Washing detergent has to be labelled with a warning symbol and stored out of the reach of children. Many washing detergents and fabric softeners contain perfume, which can cause allergies. It is a good idea to choose environmentally labelled and perfume-free products and to think about whether you really need to use fabric softener on children’s clothes.
Chemical pesticides used to kill weeds, moss and insects are often harmful and should therefore be handled with great care. All pesticides sold and used in Sweden has to be approved by the Swedish Chemicals Agency. If you have pesticides at home, please ensure that you follow the instructions on the packaging and store them out of the sight and reach of children. If you buy the product online, you need to check before ordering that its use is permitted in Sweden. Those pesticides that are approved in Sweden and may be used will have a four-digit registration number. Handling unapproved pesticides may be significantly more dangerous and they may not even work.
If children ingest lamp oil, some of the oil can end up in their airways and cause chemical pneumonia, which can be life threatening. Children can also be harmed if they suck on an oil lamp’s wick and ingest lamp oil in that way. Both lighter fluid and lamp oil must be labelled with specific warning text and the bottles must be black and contain no more than one litre. White spirit and petroleum distillate can also cause chemical pneumonia if ingested. These should therefore not be kept or used in the proximity of small children.