Most people know the importance of keeping toxic household products out of children’s reach. But I’ll bet many of us don’t count laundry detergents among them.
We should, the American Cleaning Institute says. More than 8,000 incidents involving laundry products are reported to poison control centers each year, it noted in a recent webinar.
The introduction of single-load packets of laundry detergent have brought the issue to the forefront. Poison control centers have been reporting poisonings from the new packets, which are often brightly colored and resemble candy.
The institute, which represents members of the cleaning-products industry, recommended the following:
• Read product labels and follow directions. Pay close attention to information containing words such as “caution,” “warning,” “danger” or “poison.”
• Keep products out of children’s reach, or better yet, out of their sight. If possible, store them in a cabinet secured with a child lock.
• Keep laundry products in their original containers, including the labels. Labels contain information that’s important if you have to call a poison control center.
• Don’t use empty detergent containers to store other materials, especially child-related items.
• Make a conscious effort to do your laundry without distractions.
• Try to keep little ones out of the laundry room while you’re working, and don’t let them help. They might imitate you when you’re not watching.
• Clean spills immediately.
• Don’t keep pets in the laundry room. Products can be toxic to them, too.
• When you’re done using a laundry product, wash you hands and all items used to dispense or measure the product.
• Handle single-load detergent packets with dry hands. Moisture can cause the coating to dissolve.
• Don’t cut or tear single-load packets.
• If two packets stick together, put them both in the wash or throw them away.
• Call the manufacturer to report problems with a product.
• Holiday tours, 1-4 p.m. today, Perkins Stone Mansion, 550 Copley Road, Akron. $6, seniors $4, students $2, members free. www.summithistory.org.
• Yarncrafters meetings, 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Medina Library, 210 S. Broadway. Knitting and crocheting group. www.mcdl.info or 330-725-0588.
• Needlework Circle meeting, 6 p.m. Thursdays, Seville Library, North Center Street. 330-769-2852.
• Knitting and Crocheting Circle, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 29, Highland Library, 4160 Ridge Road, Granger Township, Medina County. Learn the basics or bring your projects and swap tips. Registration: 330-278-4271 or 330-239-2674.
• Holiday Memories, through Dec. 30, Hower House, 60 Fir Hill, Akron. Victorian mansion is decorated to reflect memories of holidays past. Self-guided tours noon to 3:30 p.m. today, Thursday, Friday and next Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. both Sundays. Guided and group tours by appointment. Closed Monday through Wednesday. $8; 65 and older $6; students $2; children 6 and younger free with adult. 330-972-6909 or www.uakron.edu/howerhse.
• Deck the Hall, 5-8 nightly through Dec. 30, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path, Akron. Music-theme holiday decorations in the Manor House, lighted grounds, entertainment and visits with Mr. Jingeling. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Members, $13.50 for adults and $5.50 for youth; others, $17 for adults and $7 for youth. 5 and younger admitted free. Tickets available at the door or in advance at 330-836-5533 or www.stanhywet.org.
• Glow, through Dec. 31, Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd. Holiday plantings, trees and decorations, along with entertainment, a gingerbread house display and a Garden Express train ride. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Thursday and next Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; noon to 5 p.m. both Sundays; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. $12, children 3 to 12 $6.50, members and younger children free. 216-721-1600 or www.cbgarden.org.
Submit notices of classes, programs and events two weeks in advance to email@example.com or Home and Garden News, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640. Please include name and phone number. All events must be open to the public.
Mary Beth Breckenridge can be reached at 330-996-3756 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also become a fan on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/mbbreck, follow her on Twitter @MBBreckenridge and read her blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/mary-beth.