Washington, D.C. – March 12, 2019 – According to a recent survey by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), more than 75 percent of American households participate in the annual ritual of spring cleaning.
While the primary reasons cited for spring cleaning are to reduce clutter, remove asthma or allergy triggers and prevent the spread of illness, the Packets Up! campaign urges parents and caregivers to consider one additional reason – home safety. This is particularly important for protecting children and those adults showing signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia from accidents involving laundry packets and other cleaning products.
Now in its sixth year, the Packets Up! campaign was created to educate and motivate parents and caregivers to keep liquid laundry packets up and out of reach of those at risk of accidental exposures. In time for National Poison Prevention Week (March 17-24, 2019) and spring cleaning season, the campaign is putting extra emphasis specifically on safe storage practices.
Packets UP! Storage Stats: Recent ACI survey revealed…
- 43% of families with children under the age of four reported that their children can see liquid laundry packets when not in use; and
- 19% of families with children under the age of four reported storing liquid laundry packets on an open shelf.
"As Americans get ready to spring clean around the house, we encourage parents and caregivers to organize their laundry rooms to make sure liquid laundry packets and all household cleaners are stored safely," said Brian Sansoni, ACI Senior Vice President, Communications. "A few simple steps can go a long way toward preventing accidental exposures in the home."
- Detergent, Not Décor: Always keep liquid laundry packets tightly secured in their original packaging, which is designed to be difficult for children to access. Never display packets in a glass jar or vase, where they could attract the attention of curious children.
- Do it Right – Up High and Out of Sight: Store liquid laundry packets in an overhead cabinet secured with a child safety lock. If you don’t have a cabinet available, place liquid laundry packets (in the original packaging) into a larger bin with other laundry and household products and put it up high where those at risk won’t be able to see it.
- Make Unreachable Teachable: Get your children involved in the laundry routine by helping sort and fold clothes with you. While you’re tackling laundry together, use it as a teaching moment and show children the safety icons on the liquid laundry packet packaging and educate them that they are not to ever be touched.
- From Store to Storage: When purchasing laundry packets and other household cleaners from the store, have them bagged separately and put them away in their designated safe storage spot – out of sight and out of reach of children – as soon as you get home and unpack your groceries.
- Key Information for Senior Caregivers: If you are caring for an individual who shows the signs or symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, all cleaning products, including laundry detergents, should be stored in a locked cabinet or a closet. For more information, please view ACI’s safety tips for caregivers: www.cleaninginstitute.org/caregiver-tips/.
- Order a free cling and put it on your cabinet as a safe storage reminder;
- Follow #packetsup on social media;
- Download a laundry packet safety child activity sheet; and
- Watch our "Through Their Eyes" safety video.
The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – www.cleaninginstitute.org) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $60 billion U.S. cleaning product supply chain. ACI members include the manufacturers and formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and chemical distributors. ACI serves the growth and innovation of the U.S. cleaning products industry by advancing the health and quality of life of people and protecting our planet. ACI achieves this through a continuous commitment to sound science and being a credible voice for the cleaning products industry.