Nontoxic and childproof, hand in hand

Now that our daughter is officially a toddler, we’ve entered the world of childproofing. Or rather, we’ve entered the phase when we really should be childproofing, even more than we should have before. Our house is old and funky and three-quarters-renovated, though, so there’s a certain amount of proofing we probably can’t do. We try to substitute vigilance in many cases.

Anyway, there’s one area in which I feel grateful for our green habits. It came to my attention the other day when our daughter opened the under-sink cabinet in our kitchen and pulled out a bottle of spray cleaner. (So cute when they toddle around with something almost as tall as they are!) It’s not that I was dying for her to ingest this stuff, but because it’s a pretty benign brand, I wasn’t in a particular hurry to pry it away from her, either.

It’s good to know that no matter what cupboard she gets into in our house, she won’t find bleach, ammonia or any of your basic poisonous cleaners. We just don’t own them. We clean with vinegar, dish soap, and baking soda. If that means our house isn’t as sparkly as your average room at the Waldorf, so be it. I’d rather not worry that my one-year-old might require medical help because of my fetish for lily-white grout in the shower.

And, of course, the reason we stopped buying those products in the first place, long before we had a kid, was for our own health. So it’s all of a piece.


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