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must have kitchen items

Must Have Items in Your Kitchen vs. Harmful Items for Kids

We have all been there – our child is suffering from an aliment, and we just can’t get to the store. Often, just the thought of packing up all the kids and taking a trip to the local drug store is overwhelmingly daunting. Well, the good news is that there are several things in your kitchen that can help in these situations! Unfortunately, there are also plenty of things in the kitchen that can be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening for your children. Today, I’ll dissect your home and give you the must have, most helpful kitchen items AND the most harmful kitchen items in your space.helpful and harmful items in your kitchen

6 Must Have Helpful Kitchen Items

Whenever dealing with medicine, I always like to start with the good news. There are tons of natural remedies in your kitchen for common pediatric illnesses and aliments. Summer is the perfect time for this information because many of these natural remedies help with illnesses that occur during this time of year.

1. White Vinegar

White vinegar when added to rubbing alcohol in a one to one ratio (meaning the same amount of white vinegar and alcohol are combined together) helps prevent and treat swimmer’s ear. 

2. Cider Vinegar

I use this for myself all the time. Cider vinegar when applied to a sunburn will help with pain and take away the redness. Add one cup of cider vinegar to a bath to help balance the pH (acid or alkalinity) of sunburned skin and to promote healing.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil as well as red raspberry seed oil and carrot seed oil have natural SPF in them. This is a great option if the kids want to play outside and you don’t have any sunblock on hand. However, I would not advise this as an alternative to sunblock. If your child is spending the day out in the sun, it is imperative that they wear a sunblock with zinc and proper clothing to protect from the sun.

4. Baking Soda

Mix baking soda with water to make a paste to help soothe itchy skin from poison ivy or mosquito bites.

5. Crisco

Crisco is actually a great treatment for ezcema and dry skin.

6. Honey

When I’m asked about the best remedy for cough, I always recommend honey. Honey is shown to soothe coughs! Just give a teaspoon of dark (buckwheat, for example) honey three times a day.

Never give honey to a child under the age of one, as it can cause infant botulism.

5 Harmful Kitchen Items

It may be even more important to address the dangers that exist in the kitchen. One of the most important things you can do to keep your child safe is to remove all cleaning supplies from an easily accessible area (like under the sink). Make sure cleaning supplies are up and out of reach of small children or invest in cabinet locks.

1. Multi-vitamins/pre-natal vitamins

Multivitamins (particularly ones that contain iron supplementation) also contain varying minerals such as zinc, calcium, iron, iodine, choline, etc. There is potential for harm if your child eats too many vitamins that contain iron. For children, iron overdose is a leading cause of poisoning-related injury and death.

2. Oven Cleaner/Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)

Lye is a strong irritant that causes burns to both the skin and eyes. It will cause severe tissue damage if swallowed.

3. Dishwasher Detergent/Laundry Pods

I can’t stress enough how dangerous these are for children. Most products contain chlorine in a dry form that is highly concentrated. The laundry and detergent pods are extremely dangerous due to the high concentration contained in a small and easily accessible pod.

4. Bleach

Bleach is a strong corrosive. It will irritate or burn the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. It may cause pulmonary edema or vomiting and coma if ingested.

WARNING: Never mix bleach with ammonia as it may cause fumes which can be DEADLY.

5. Drain Cleaners

Most drain cleaners contain lye, hydrochloric acid, or trichloroethane. Lye is a caustic agent and can burn skin and eyes. If ingested, lye will damage the esophagus and stomach. Hydrochloric acid is a corrosive agent and has the potential to cause damage to skin, eyes, kidneys, liver, and digestive tract. Trichloroethane can cause eye and skin irritation, is a nervous system depressant, and causes possible damage to the liver and kidneys.

Final Thoughts on Must Have vs. Harmful Kitchen Itemspoison helpline

While these items are the most common helpful and harmful kitchen items, they are only a few of the products found in an average kitchen. Many products can be dangerous or life-threatening to you or your child.

Poison control is an invaluable resource. After calling 9-1-1 for any accidental ingestions, always call poison control!

~Dr. Katie

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