By Antoinette Colon

Connection Staff

With more sunshine, household dust bunnies are revealed and people are whipping-out those handy cleaning products. Before you use those products there are a few common sense rules to keep in mind. Warning labels are placed on products with hazardous chemicals because they are dangerous for both children and animals. If you are in need of Poison Control assistance, dial the hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Regardless of your location, you will be connected to the nearest Poison Control Center for help.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has some spring-cleaning safety tips that are important for every family. Some of the American Academy of Pediatrics tips is as follows:

Choose nontoxic products for your spring-cleaning. For example, vinegar and water is an inexpensive and effective window cleaning solution.

Time to move furniture? Place cribs, playpens and other furniture away from the window and accessible drapery cords. Children can climb up on furniture and fall out of the window or get strangled in the cords.

Make sure window guards/bars are secure, and know how to open the window in case of fire. Screens do no prevent window falls.

Test all your smoke alarms to ensure they are working. Change the batteries at least once every year. Most smoke alarms also need "spring cleaning" maintenance- check your manual.

Develop and practice a family fire escape plan in case of emergency.

Consider installing carbon monoxide alarms in your home.

Make sure small parts, plastic bags; small toys, balloons or any other choking hazards are out of reach of young children, particularly those less than 36 months of age.

Check your home for recalled and banned children's products. To find out about recalled products, go to

Keep traffic areas free of clutter, toys and rugs in order to avoid tripping with your child in your arms.

Doors that lead to the basement should have a self-latching lock to prevent children from falling down the stairs.

Post the Poison Help Line number (1-800-222-1222) and your pediatrician's number on all phones.

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