protect children

What’s the Right Cleaner to Use?

By Denise Owens

While being off for the recent holiday, I had the opportunity to pick my grandson up from daycare. While packing him up to go home, I was told by his teacher that over 65% of the daycare had flu-like symptoms and kids were being sent home. Due to the fluctuating of the temperature, this situation was understandable.

The daycare provider said she has to sanitize the entire daycare facility to help stop the spreading of the flu. So I asked her what the sanitizing procedures were. She said that there are several cleaning items that can be used, but many are harmful to the children.

She said that they turn off their heating system and begin cleaning with bleach. I asked why not use a disinfectant spray, and she replied, “We wipe everything down with bleach and then we spray with disinfectant spray.” Once we finish spraying everything down, we then turn the heat off at night and open a few windows until the morning.”

The next morning, the staff return to the daycare earlier than normal to turn on the heat to prepare for the kids. Hopefully she has gotten rid of the majority of the germs within the building.

I never knew that bleach would be safe to use for disinfecting at a daycare. I always felt that bleach could be harmful for children because they are constantly putting toys into their mouths, but I guess she proved me wrong.

When you’re buying products, look for the label from EPA’s Safer Labeling Program – here’s the list of cleaners.

About the author: Denise Owens has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency for over 25 years.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Question of the Week: Where do you store your pesticides and other household chemicals?

March 14-20 is Poison Prevention Week. In households with children under the age of five, close to half store at least one pesticide product within reach of a child. Moreover, nearly 75 percent of households with no children under the age of five store pesticides product in an unlocked cabinet within a child’s reach. To help protect children from the dangers, install safety latches and lock up pesticides and household chemicals well out of children’s reach – preferably in a high cabinet. Make a room-by-room inspection of your home to be sure all products for rats, mice, cockroaches, or anything else with harmful chemicals such as bleach and other cleaning products are safely stored. Share your thoughts on how you safely store household chemicals.

Where do you store your pesticides and other household chemicals?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Question of the Week: How do you protect your children from environmental health hazards in and around your home?

Children may be more vulnerable than adults to environmental health threats. Although the home is typically a safe place for children, when it comes to environmental heath it’s wise to know the facts. October is Children’s Health Month. Check out the October calendar for environmental health tips.

How do you protect your children from environmental health hazards in and around your home?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.