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Use & Store Pesticides Properly to Protect Children

By Chris Williams on March 14, 2012.

spray-canWhen the Environmental Protection Agency conducted a survey about pesticides in the home, it found that about half of all households with children under the age of five had pesticides stored in unlocked cabinets within reach of children (less than 4 ft off of the ground).

In addition to ant & roach sprays, rat poison, flea sprays, and the like, the homes surveyed had other chemicals that residents don’t usually think of as pesticides such as chlorine bleach swimming pool chemicals and weed killers.

Many people have the mistaken impression that only the pesticides used by professionals pose any hazard. They think that the pesticides they can buy at the hardware store are “safe.” Poison centers answer more than 4 million calls each year, one call every eight seconds. And children under the age of 6 account for about half of the calls placed to poison centers.

Poisoning incidents can be prevented if parents and caregivers remember to lock up products that could potentially harm children.

These are EPA’s guidelines for safe pesticide and chemical storage:

  • Always store pesticides and other household chemical products in a locked cabinet or garden shed away from both children and pets. Never store pesticides or chemicals near food or drink.
  • Never leave pesticides and other household chemical products unattended when you are using them.
  • Re-close pesticides and other household chemical products if interrupted during application (e.g., phone call, doorbell, etc.).
  • Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.
  • Never transfer pesticides and other household chemical products to containers that may be mistaken for food or drink.
  • Remove children, pets, toys, bottles and pacifiers before applying pesticides (inside or outside the home). Follow label directions to determine when children and pets can return to the area that has been treated.
  • Never use illegal pesticides that have not been reviewed for safety by EPA, or pesticides sold on the street. Always look for an EPA Registration Number on the product label.

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