Clean Up as You Clear Out

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As the nights draw in, and families clear space in garages and sheds to store away barbeques and garden furniture, bittering agent supplier, Bitrex, and child safety charity, the Child Accident Prevention Trust, are reminding parents and grandparents to tidy up or throw out dangerous products, to help stop young children being poisoned.

Young children are naturally inquisitive and love to go exploring. But sadly, dangerous products can lurk in the dusty corners of garages and sheds waiting for an inquisitive child on a rainy afternoon. These include weed-killers, rat and mouse poisons, wood preservatives, slug pellets, paint thinners, preservatives, anti-freeze, windscreen washer additives and barbeque fuel.

Top tips from Bitrex and the Child Accident Prevention Trust to keep children safe from dangerous substances are: –

  •     Don’t transfer chemicals into other containers – particularly old soft drinks bottles or food containers – as a young child can mistake them for something to eat or drink.
  •     If you have products with no labels, it’s safest to dispose of them to avoid any confusion.
  •     Store dangerous products as securely in your garage or garden shed as you would inside your home – out of young children’s reach and sight, and ideally in a locked cupboard.
  •     Buy products with a child-resistant closure. But remember that, while child-resistant caps slow children down, they aren’t ‘child-proof’ – some 3-4 year olds can open them in seconds.
  •     Look for products with the Bitrex logo on the packaging. The Bitrex bittering agent makes products taste so horrible that children will spit them out rather than swallowing them.

Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust said,

‘You may have lots of dangerous products lurking in your garage or garden shed that you don’t want young children to get their hands on. It’s so easy to pop them inside the door and then forget about them. But young children love exploring and may slip away into the garage when your back is turned. So, if you’re having a clear out now it’s autumn, why not take five minutes to store these products safely away. And remember that most local councils have facilities where you can safely dispose of unwanted chemicals.’

Cameron Smith, Business Manager for Bitrex added,

‘We at Bitrex supply a product which is very much the third line of defence in child safety. Our additive makes material almost impossible to swallow by even the most inquisitive and resourceful child. But it is only the final line of defence. Parents and grandparents are increasingly aware of the hazards of many common products and are very well aware of the things that you can do to reduce the risks.

‘Our hope is that this autumn’s clean up season, the vigilance will extend to outside the home and the corners and shelves in sheds and garages that are so interesting to inquisitive minds. Bitrex in products will ensure that a near miss remains exactly that and not a more serious accident. It’s a great reassurance to parents to know that the last line of defence is in place in many products. But Bitrex® is not used by every product manufacturer, so we’d much rather products were stored in such a way that Bitrex didn’t have to prove its worth and remained as a back-up to ensure peace of mind.’

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John Hughes
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