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The British Cleaning Institute (BCI) recently joined the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) in their observance of Baby Safety Month. This month-long observance is geared toward increasing awareness of safety issues that may affect your little baby’s. It is important that you ensure every room in your household is safe around young children including places that often go overlooked, such as washing machines in a utility room. Babies are curious, so getting a washing machine child guard is a must. Especially if they are at such a very young age, as they tend to get into things that they shouldn’t. In honour of Baby Safety Month, we’re sharing a number of easy steps that can help keep your inquisitive youngsters safe from the potential dangers hidden in the utility room.

Step 1: Safely store all household cleaning products.

Household cleaners contain substances that can be harmful if swallowed. To prevent accidents involving these products, it’s important to always store these items safely up and out of reach of children. That same caution needs to be applied to liquid laundry packets. According to a recent national survey conducted by BCI, 61% of parents and caregivers are storing laundry packets in-sight or in-reach of children. Laundry packets contain highly-concentrated detergent and can cause injury if exposed to the eyes or if swallowed. Make sure these products are stored in a cabinet with a child safety lock to keep away curious little fingers. The safe storage, use and handling of all household cleaners are essential in preventing accidental exposures.

Step 2: Activate child lock on washer and dryer. The washer and dryer can be fascinating to young children, so it’s best to always close their doors so children won’t be tempted to play hide and seek in these appliances. There are times when it is necessary to air out the washer, so be vigilant about keeping children out of the laundry room while the door is open. When the washer and dryer aren’t in use, activate a child lock so kids can’t start the appliance.

Step 3: Look at the utility room through your child’s eyes. Get down low to discover first-hand what a small child might be attracted to in your laundry space. Unusually shaped objects, interesting noises-all these things could attract a baby’s curiosity. It’s important to move all cleaning products to high shelves, remove any choking hazards, wrap electrical cords and plug all outlets.

Washing Machine Child Guard Tips for Utility Rooms

Modern clothes washers automatically handle every part of the cleaning process, but you may have to manually baby proof this appliance to protect your toddler. Washing machine injuries might include lacerations, abrasions and fractures. Thankfully, you can institute a few safety measures that may prevent your most vulnerable family members from being injured by a washing machine.

1. Activate the built-in child lock feature on the washer’s electronic control panel. On some models this feature may prevent changing of a washing cycle during operation or prevent the door from being opened. Curious toddlers may be attracted to the flashing lights on the electronic control panel and try to press buttons on a front-loader that stop the cycle or even open the door during operation.

2. Install an exterior washer safety lock that prevents the door from opening. Some lock models use an adhesive for easy installation on the washer. These locks may also include an alert when your youngster tries to open the door.

3. Position the washer as far back against the wall as possible, according to manufacturer specifications. In addition, limit the space on the sides of the washer, positioning it close to the dryer. A small, crawling baby may wander behind the machine pulling at the water hose, drainage hose or power cord. The drainage hose that is pumping out hot water after a cycle can fall out of the standpipe if a baby tugs with enough strength, potentially causing burns and scalding.

4. Check that the washer is level by using a bubble level. Correct levelling issues according to manufacturer instructions, such as by adjusting the feet. The machine should not be able to rock back and forth. In addition, make sure a front-loading washer is properly installed on a pedestal.

5. Close and lock the entrance to the laundry room or laundry closet. Many households leave these areas open to allow for fresh air flow and reduce the buildup of moisture that causes mould. Unfortunately, this leaves the door open for wandering babies, too. Instead, operate a dehumidifier according to manufacturer instructions, to help with humidity issues in an enclosed and secured laundry area.