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National Child Safety Expert, Alison Rhodes, “The Safety Mom,” is one of the country's leading child safety authorities, providing tips and advice to parents on a broad range of issues facing all children - newborns to teens.

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Six Tips For Safe Spring Cleaning
by Alison Rhodes

There’s a great feeling of satisfaction when you’ve cleaned your house top to bottom. Not only does it clean out the germs but it gives you a good work-out as well! Before you get down to business however keep some of these tips in mind:

  1. Beware of glass cleaners
    Mixing an ammonia-based product with chlorine bleach creates poisonous gas. What's more, the bright colors of some cleaners can be attractive to children: According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), glass cleaners accounted for 9,418 calls to poison-control centers during a recent year.

  2. Carpet cleaners can be toxic
    Carpet shampoos usually leave a sticky residue on carpet fibers that are usually hard to see or feel. Not only does the residue attract and latch onto dirt but children, who crawl and play on carpets, can inhale them or get them on their hands, which they then put into their mouths. Powders or dusts are easily inhaled and may irritate airways and cause asthma attacks. In fact, anti-dust-mite carpet treatments sometimes contain tannic acid or benzyl benzoate, both of which are skin, eye and respiratory irritants.

  3. When you’re done – store them safely
    Once your cleaning’s done, store all products in a locked cabinet in a room not accessible to the kids such as a garage or basement. It’s easy for kids to mistake disinfecting wipes for baby wipes and use them on their face, eyes or other parts of their bodies. Keep these out of reach as well.

  4. Consider safer alternatives
    There are many products on the market that are “green” and non-toxic. Also consider some good, old fashioned cleaning solutions such as vinegar, lemon, baking soda, club soda and mineral oil.

  5. Don’t forget the medicine cabinet
    When you’re doing your spring cleaning don’t forget the medicine cabinet. Check expiration dates on all medicines and toss if they’re too old. Also get rid of any prescriptions that are half-done.

  6. Check the toy box
    Go through the kids’ toy box and throw out any toys with missing or loose parts which could pose a choking hazard. If you think that a toy might have been recalled, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website – to check all recalled products.

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Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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