posted in Mom Stories
When my husband and I were preparing to become parents 8 years ago, we were organized and ready. Or at least we thought we were. We read the books, studied the articles, went to the classes, and soaked up every piece of advice that was given, even unsolicited.
But studying to become a parent and actually experiencing it are two totally different things. We read up on safe diapering habits and the perfect swaddle, but when we welcomed our first child into the world we were thrown many curveballs we weren’t prepared for.
Fast-forward 8 years and 4 kids later, I am still problem-solving every day — especially since I have kids with completely different personalities and mischief skill-sets.
For instance, Mia, one of our 2-year-old twins, is an expert climber.
Her sister, Beau, received the perfectly fitting nickname “Beau the Destructor” after exploring her newfound big-girl-bed freedom by coating her entire bedroom in talcum powder, painting her stuffed animals’ nails, and shredding her books.
We eventually packed away any items we thought she might get into and put a lock on her closet: Parenting problem-solving at its finest!
You may not need to lock your child’s stuff away at night, but when your child is learning to crawl, you need to walk (or crawl!) slowly around your house, looking for hazards. Don’t just check out the kitchen and bedrooms. Your house’s laundry room is full of things that a small child could eat or drink, lick, pull down, or get stuck in. (In fact, did you know 1 in 3 parents say their laundry room is located near spaces where the family spends most of their time, such as the living room or kitchen?**)Here are a few things to watch for when child-proofing your laundry room.
1. Keep it closed: Whenever you aren’t loading or unloading your washer or dryer make sure you keep it firmly closed so your child doesn’t crawl in. Kids love to open doors, and washer/dryer handles are often at a tempting height for toddlers. You can buy childproofing latches that’ll keep them safely shut. It’s also easy for children to open washer/dryer doors and then use them as a platform to stand on while checking out whatever’s on top, so securing these doors can prevent multiple dangers.
2. Careful when ironing: Children can be seriously hurt by a falling iron, especially a hot one. When ironing, make sure your child cannot get his hands on the cord so he can’t pull the iron down. Store your ironing board and iron in an inaccessible location so they won’t fall on your child.
3. Take special care with liquid laundry packets: Store your liquid laundry packets at a safe height away from your child’s reach, such as a high shelf or cupboard. Use a safety latch on cupboard doors for extra security. This also goes for any softening agents, cleaning products, and other detergents, too. Kids love to play with spray bottles and can be drawn to them, so it’s best to keep them out of sight.
Be sure to also keep your liquid laundry packets stored in a secure container, like Tide’s child-resistant tub with specially designed tabs that keep children from being able to open it, or Tide’s first-ever child-resistant bag with a Child-Guard zipper that you have to push down while zipping to open. Want to see how it works?
The new Tide liquid laundry packets have a bitter-tasting substance in the outer film (so they taste bad if a child happens to put one in his mouth), and are designed to delay the release of the liquid inside. However, if your child does put one of these packets in his mouth or gets any in his eye, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
4. Watch for standing water: Children can drown in very small amounts of water. Don’t let standing water remain in a sink, basin, bucket, washer, or anywhere else in your laundry room (or in your house).
5. Keep products in the original packaging: Parents sometimes think it’s safer to store laundry products in nondescript containers instead of appealing and colorful packaging. But you or anyone else doing laundry may get confused about just what’s in that bottle. As we mentioned before, keep children safe by storing all laundry products in an inaccessible, and preferably safety locked, location.
Keeping your family in clean clothes is hard enough — you shouldn’t have to worry about your children getting injured too. But some careful prep will ensure your laundry room is safe, even for the youngest members of your family.
This article was created in partnership with Tide. For 70 years, Tide has given families innovative, effective and safe laundry products, including liquid laundry packets. Tide is committed to helping parents understand the importance of safe use and storage of laundry packets, so you can protect your little ones. Visit Tide.com for more tips to make your laundry routine safe and clean.
**Survey conducted online within the United States by BabyCenter on behalf of Tide from 1/9/17-1/17/17 among 1,106 adults 18+ years old.