Is Carpet Cleaning Safe for Children?

Once infants and children become a part of your family, you need to consider what type of chemicals you use to clean your home.

Identification

Think twice before using chemical carpet cleaners around children.Think twice before using chemical carpet cleaners around children.
Many cleaners, including carpet cleaners, contain potentially harmful chemicals that should not be used near children.

Healthy Child asserts that carpet cleaners with strong odors are more likely to contain harmful chemicals. Check carpet cleaner labels for toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, butoxyethanol, hydroxyacetic acid, phenol, butane and sodium hydroxide.

Effects

Carpet cleaner residue often remains on carpets after cleaning. Children who play on the floor may inhale this residue or transfer the residue from their hands to their mouths. The chemicals in carpet cleaners may trigger allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, eye irritation, congestion, nausea and fatigue.

Prevention/Solution

Consider cleaning carpets with natural cleaning products such as baking soda, club soda, cornstarch, vinegar, rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (both used in extreme cases and with care) or purchase commercial products labeled non-toxic. If you do clean your carpets with chemical cleaning solutions, ventilate the area well by opening doors and windows and keep children out of the house for at least four hours after the cleaning session.

About the Author

Based in Laurel, Miss., Melody Morgan Hughes covers topics related to education, money and health. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English education from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Education from William Carey University and a Master of Education from Nova Southeastern University.