By Hilary George
CHILDREN are curious by nature and they act fast. However, most of the pesticide products we utilize in and around the home environment do also act very fast.
It is difficult to keep children away from places where a pesticide has been used for the control of household pests. Young children are highly mobile and actively explore, and put many objects (including their hands) into their mouths. They also frequently crawl on floors and climb on other surfaces.
Children should be kept away from pesticides at all times, and all the necessary precautionary measures must be taken to avoid children from being exposed to the dangers of pesticides. Just think for a moment, how would a parent react if he or she suddenly notices that their infant child is holding on to, or is trying to nibble a can of household aerosol insect killer.
We must never use a pesticide in a home, building or other area unless the people that are living, or working there can be protected from its exposure. Therefore, never apply a pesticide to play equipment, toys, or any surfaces normally contacted by children. On carpets, use pesticides that break down rapidly. In all cases, use pesticides having low toxicity and low volatility. If you use bait stations or traps, secure them in a place well out of reach and out of sight.
We utilize a variety of household chemical products in the home, and some of these contain pesticides. Many have the potential to cause harm, particularly to children. These products include:
•bath and kitchen disinfectants and sanitizers, including bleach
•household cleaning or maintenance products, such as drain cleaner, paints, or glues
•automotive products, such as antifreeze or windshield washer fluid
•health or beauty care products such as medicines, hair and nail products
•ant and roach sprays and baits
•rat and other rodent poisons
•lawn and garden pesticides
•products used to kill mold or mildew
•flea and tick shampoos, powders, and dips for pets
•swimming pool chemicals
All of these chemical products can potentially cause great harm, but many of us are not aware that the common household products used in and around the home contain pesticides. The very products used to kill ants, germs, cockroaches, flies, mice, rats, and termites to protect our family health from vermin, pathogens, and the like can actually harm a child’s health if used or stored improperly, allowing exposure to potentially highly toxic substances.
LET US ALL BE CAUTIOUS AND CONSIDERATE IN OUR — USE OF PESTICIDES AND SAFEGUARD THE GENERATION OF TODAY AND TOMORROW: “PROTECT CHILDREN FROM PESTICIDES”.