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Tips for making your laundry area safe
As we are spending all day at home in this exceptional situation, it’s natural for your children to be curious about all the exciting objects there are to touch and play with at home. One of the areas your little one might be eager to explore? The laundry! With electrical appliances, laundry products, and colourful accessories around, making sure your laundry room is safe is an important part of protecting your child from accidental injury.
Read on to get some great tips on child safety for the laundry area of your home.
Install a Safety Gate or keep the door closed so young children cannot enter
The first step to help prevent accidents is keep the door to your laundry room closed, or by adding a safety gate to the entry to keep your little one out of the laundry area.
If you decide to install a latch, remember to make sure it can be unlocked from outside, just in case your child gets locked in.
Keep Laundry Detergents Out of Reach
While you need the best cleaning detergents to make your laundry clean and soft, detergents should always be kept away from your child. Remember, detergents should never get close to their mouths or on their skin.
For babies and toddlers, detergents and especially capsules can seem attractive. Therefore, your child might be tempted to pop one in his or her mouth, especially if they are at the teething stage.
While the plastic film on the outside of capsules may seem like it’s sealed and keeps children protected, this film is water-soluble and dissolves as soon as it gets wet. This means your little one’s sticky fingers or mouth can expose your child to the powerful detergent inside. As capsules are more concentrated than other detergents, this can lead to serious illness.
Therefore, it’s very important to keep detergents stored away up high or locked away and out of reach and out of sight.
Here are even more tips on how to make your house safer for your children and store laundry products safely:
- Choose products with child-safety packaging. Some laundry products, like Fairy Non Bio PODS, come with a child resistant lock on the pack for added security. Child resistant packaging often closes securely with a Click Clack, but some may work differently. Always follow the instructions to ensure your laundry detergent is sealed correctly.
- Keep bottle tops and lids are firmly closed. Even if the product doesn’t have a child resistant locking mechanism, keep the detergent lid, top or flap closed when it’s not in use.
- Keep laundry products in their original container with the label intact. This helps ensure you don’t mistake your laundry detergent for something else and leave it out and within reach of your little one by accident.
- Keep detergents out of reach and out of sight. Put them up high or locked away in cabinets fitted with locks that would be difficult for children to operate. Just because a product has child-safety packaging doesn’t mean it’s 100 percent child resistant. This is why it’s so important to keep detergents and other fabric care products safely out of the reach of children.
- Handle laundry capsules with dry hands. Since the film of capsules can dissolve when it comes into contact with liquid, make sure your hands are dry.
- Wash your hands after doing laundry. You should wash your hands as well as any utensils that have come in contact with detergent, like dispensing products or measuring scoops. This helps ensure your little one can’t come in contact with detergents that have transferred to other surfaces.
Keep the Washing Machine, Drier and Cabinets Locked
Children are curious by nature and will play with anything, and the washing machine, especially with all its buttons, dials and flashing lights, is no exception.
These are some things you can do to keep your child safe and away from your washing and ironing appliances, and laundry cabinets:
- Keep the doors of the washing machine and the drier closed. Some models come with a lock feature, or you could add a child resistant lock on the door itself. Use these safety features each time you leave the washing machine or drier unattended. If you have a separate laundry room, it’s an added layer of security to keep the door locked at all times, or add a safety gate to block off the area.
- Lock any cabinets where you’re storing detergents. It’s a great idea to add a child-resistant lock to the cabinets where you store detergents and other laundry products. It’s always safest to store your detergents up high and out of reach.
- Store the iron out of reach. Never leave your little one unattended near the iron—especially if it’s turned on or hasn’t cooled down yet. The electric cord of the iron can also be a hazard. When you’ve finished ironing, unplug the iron, wrap the cord securely away and place the iron up high out of reach, or keep it locked in a cabinet that’s sealed with a child resistant lock.
- Keep laundry and ironing accessories out of reach. Keep items like the clothesline, ironing board, pegs, detergent scoops and lids, and any other gadget or accessory that you use in the laundry locked away and out of reach to help prevent laundry room accidents.
- Never let your little one play near the laundry area. Designate the laundry area as an out of bounds area for your little one.
Your Child Safety Home Checklist
Use this handy checklist to help make the home as safe as possible for your child.
Child Safety Checklist for the Home
- Clear your baby’s cot of all objects including toys and blankets
- Never leave your baby unattended in the bath or on high surfaces
6 months to 1 year
- Install baby gates, including at the top and bottom of stairs
- Add a child resistant latch to the doors of unsafe areas and to low cupboards
- Keep medicines, and laundry and cleaning products out of reach and out of sight
- Clear the floor of small objects, such as coins
- Cover electrical sockets with outlet covers
- Choose laundry and cleaning products with child-safety packaging
Keep the doors of the washing machine and drier closed with a child resistant lock
Tie back or secure cords and cables
- Turn the handles of pots and pans so they’re out of reach
- Cover furniture corners with corner guards
- Secure furniture to prevent it toppling over
- Don’t involve children in the laundry process
- Never let your little one play unsupervised in the laundry area or in the kitchen when you are carrying out cooking activities
Close liquid laundry capsule packs with a click and always keep them out of reach of children
FAQs at a Glance
|How do you install baby resistant cabinet locks?||You can fit safety catches onto a regular cupboard, or buy a cabinet with a lock and key. Most DIY stores will have child-resistant locks. These should come with instructions on how to install them.|
|When’s the right time to make your house safer for children?||You might like to do some safety preparations before your little one is born. Then, before your baby learns to crawl, which usually happens at around 7 to 10 months, go around your home once again and check to make sure it’s safe for your crawling baby. Before your little one starts to walk, double check your home to ensure it’s child resistant as your curious toddler starts to walk and explore even more areas of your home.|
By following these child safety recommendations for the laundry area, as well as the advice at for the rest of your home, you can feel more confident that your little one can safely explore the secure areas of your home as he or she grows and develops.