8 Summer-Cleaning Tips Every Parent Should Know
Lifestyle Whipping your home into shape this summer is made stress-free with these crucial steps for safer summer cleaning.
1. Stow toxic products in a safe place
Harsh, chemical-laden products can make countertops and tubs glisten, but they also may pose harm to kids and pets when they make contact with skin or are ingested. Keep bleach, foaming cleaners, mold-reducing products and the like secure in cabinets that either lock or are inaccessible to your little ones.
2. Keep laundry pods out of arm’s reach
Data from poison-control centers across the country indicate bright-colored laundry pods are becoming increasingly toxic to children, who may mistake them for candies. A recent study published in the journal “Pediatrics” suggested a 17 percent jump in calls to those centers resulting from kids younger than age 6 being exposed to laundry and dishwasher detergent.
3. Use natural cleaning products when possible
Reading product labels carefully to ensure you’re purchasing the most natural option possible can help minimize potential harm. Neither the U.S. Food and Drug Administration nor the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has officially defined what “natural” means, but the Environmental Working Group’s website features a list of riskier ingredients, including “active ingredients,” “biodegradable” and “anti-bacterial,” which can inform buying and storage choices.
4. Bust dust to reduce allergy symptoms
As anyone with the sniffles or red, scratchy eyes can attest, allergy season does not stop in spring. Ensure your home is dust-free by vacuuming rugs to eliminate pet dander and wiping hard surfaces to avoid agitating the allergy-prone.
5. Tend to indoor air quality
Ensure air filters are changed regularly to help your family breathe easier. Allergy sufferers will appreciate this step, too.
6. Take steps to avoid lead contamination
Dusting packs a double-benefit— according to the Mayo Clinic, this chore can also reduce your family’s risk of lead poisoning. Prevent children from playing in soil, wash your and kids’ hands after playing outdoors and before eating and going to bed, too.
7. Store food properly
Warmer temperatures make for glorious days at the beach, but they also can promote the growth of harmful bacteria. As you organize your home, ensure meat, dairy and other perishables are stored properly in a cool place to avoid food-borne illness. To further reduce contamination risk, carefully read expiration dates when sorting through your family’s fare.
8. Protect yourself when redecorating
Like spring, summer can signal new beginnings. But before you begin your next home project that may involve removing mold or painting, equip yourself with the proper gear, like rubber gloves and a facemask.