Baby-Proof the Pantry? Surprising Household Items that Could Harm Your Kids

You know to cover electrical outlets and lock up any chemical-laden cleaners under the kitchen sink. What you might not realize is that some common baking ingredients, pantry staples, and household items should also be kept out of reach of toddlers or secured.

Here are five items you might not have known pose a threat. If any of these are in easy reach of your children, take steps to secure the cabinets they’re kept in.

  1. Sodium. Just a small amount of table salt can cause seizures in a toddler and can even prove deadly. According to the National Capitol Poison Control Center, “sodium is essential to human health, but too much sodium is poisonous.”
  2. Cinnamon. When dry cinnamon is swallowed, there’s a risk of aspiration. Inhalation can also cause pulmonary inflammation.
  3. Vinegar. Because it is highly acidic, vinegar can cause esophageal or stomach burns when consumed without first being diluted.
  4. Laundry/dish pods. They’re convenient, but colorfully packaged dishwasher and laundry detergent pods are also extremely attractive to young children. You might think it would be difficult for kids to open a pod, but if they bite into one, chemicals can get into their lungs. This can result in hospitalization and even death.
  5. Essential oils. If you’re a fan of essential oils, make sure you’re storing them safely. Choking can occur if kids try to swallow the oil, which could lead to other complications.  

Feeling overwhelmed about what needs to be kept behind locked doors? Don’t panic. Use common sense and trust your instincts.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers a comprehensive guide to making sure every space in your home is safe for your curious little ones.

Photo credit: Raj Stevenson

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