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COVID, Cleaning & Kids: Safety First

WASHINGTON–With millions of Americans now working from home while their children are out of school, we tend to be cleaning more to help protect against the spread of coronavirus.

New reports indicate an increase in calls to poison control centers for unintended exposures to cleaning and disinfecting products.

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI – is reminding parents and caregivers not to let their guard down when using beneficial hygiene and cleaning products, especially when there are young children in the house.

“Remember to make sure you’re keeping cleaning products out of the reach of little hands,” said Melissa Hockstad, ACI President and CEO. “It only takes a second for an accidental poisoning to occur. That’s why proper product use and safe storage is so important.”

Here are quick tips from ACI for cleaning safely while we’re spending so much more time at home:

Don’t let little children have easy access to hand sanitizers, or use them on their own. Instead, squirt that dollop of sanitizer into your little one’s hands and make sure they are rubbing their hands together in front of you. This also helps you make sure your kids are using the product properly to get the full benefit.

Don’t Mix Cleaning Products. Mixing two cleaning products together or making your own ‘on the fly’ can be a recipe for danger.

Dilute bleach properly. Bleach can be a terrific disinfectant. You only need to use a small amount to remove germs and viruses on surfaces. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions to dilute the bleach when disinfecting surfaces, typically a 1/3 of a cup of bleach per one gallon of water.

Don’t use surface care products on your skin. Cleaning and disinfecting products that are meant to be used on surfaces should never be used or sprayed on your skin. Please make sure you’re using the product for its intended use.

When you’re done cleaning, immediately store the product out of reach and out of sight of children. Parents and caregivers are balancing working from home while doing other chores around the house. As soon as you’re done cleaning or disinfecting, don’t leave the product on the counter. Make sure you immediately put away cleaning products in a safe place where young kids can’t reach or see.

Read the product label. The product label has a wealth of great information on it, especially on where and how to use the product safely and effectively. Go to the product or brand websites for more useful information.

Keep those Packets UP! We may be doing more laundry throughout the week. Always remember to store all detergent products – including liquid laundry packets – up and out of sight and out of reach of children. Don’t leave the packets sitting on your washing machine. For a free safety reminder cling to attach to your washing machine, visit ACI’s website.

Keep the Poison Control Center number handy. In case of any accidental product exposure, program the Poison Control Center number into your home and cell phones: 1.800.222.1222.

For other useful tips on cleaning safely around the home, visit

The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $60 billion U.S. cleaning product supply chain. ACI members include the manufacturers and formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and chemical distributors. ACI serves the growth and innovation of the U.S. cleaning products industry by advancing the health and quality of life of people and protecting our planet. ACI achieves this through a continuous commitment to sound science and being a credible voice for the cleaning products industry.

Courtesy of -(BUSINESS WIRE)-

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