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These simple steps can help you save children from environmental hazards around the home:
1. Always store pesticides and other household chemicals, including chlorine bleach, out of children's reach -- preferably in a locked cabinet.
2. Always read directions carefully because pesticide products, household cleaning products, and pet products can be "dangerous" or ineffective if too much or too little is used.
3. Before applying pesticides or other household chemicals, remove children and their toys, as well as pets, from the area. Keep children and pets away until the pesticide has dried or as long as is recommended on the label.
4. If your use of a pesticide or other household chemical is interrupted (perhaps by a phone call), properly reclose the container and remove it from children's reach. Always use household products in child-resistant packaging.
5. Never transfer pesticides to other containers that children may associate with food or drink (like soda bottles), and never place rodent or insect baits where small children can get to them.
6. When applying insect repellents to children, read all directions first; do not apply over cuts, wounds or irritated skin; do not apply to eyes, mouth, hands or directly on the face; and use just enough to cover exposed skin or clothing, but do not use under clothing.
7. Wash children's hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often, and regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces to reduce potential exposure to lead dust.
8. Get your child tested for lead if you suspect he or she has been exposed to lead in either your home or neighborhood.
9. Inquire about lead hazards. When buying or renting a home or apartment built before 1978, the seller or landlord is now required to disclose known lead hazards.
10. If you suspect that lead-based paint has been used in your home or if you plan to remodel or renovate, get your home tested. Do not attempt to remove lead paint yourself. Call 1-(800)-424-LEAD for guidelines.
For more information about pesticides, call the National Pesticide Telecommunications Network at 1-(800) 858-7378. To order publications, call the National Center for Environmental Publications and Information at 1-(800) 490-9198. For more information about lead, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-(800) LEADFYI, (in the District of Columbia, call (202) 833-4726). For information about how to get your home or child tested for lead poisoning, call your local/state health department.