After all these storms in the Mid-South, it’s time to get that spring cleaning under way that we’ve all been putting off. But it’s surprisingly common for family members to face injury while doing normal household work, especially if you have children or pets. Here are some tips for staying safe while you get your home back in shape, Memphis-style.

Cleaning in Memphis Humidity

  • Don’t overdo it in hot, humid weather.
  • When working outside or in a warm house in the spring and summer months, drink lots of water – more than usual, to avoid dehydration.
  • Overheating and dehydration can cause serious health problems: go inside and take a break if you have any signs of dehydration, including headache, fatigue or trouble breathing.

Cleaning Hard to Reach Areas Like Closets and Windows

  • Don’t climb on boxes or other miscellaneous things in order to reach. Use a ladder or step ladder.
  • When you do use a ladder, check first to make sure it doesn’t have cracks or structural damage and that it can hold you. Also, to prevent slipping, make sure the ladder is not wet and wear good shoes.
  • Have someone hold the ladder for you.
  • Don’t lean too much on a ladder to clean a window. It’s much safer to get down and move the ladder over as you need it.

Lifting Heavy Items

  • Don’t carry too much or more than you can see over.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back. If you’re lifting properly, your back should be straight and you should feel a slight strain in your legs. Your back should not hurt when you lift, and if it does, you should get help with that part of the cleaning.
  • Make sure to wear thick shoes that cover your toes in case something falls.

Cleaning Product Safety

  • Keep cleaning products away from food and dishes when storing or using it.
  • Open windows to let dangerous fumes out of the house.
  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands and arms from the cleaning chemicals.
  • Do not mix chemical cleaning supplies. For example, ammonia and bleach become toxic when mixed together.
  • If you want to avoid the many dangers associated with cleaning supplies, including potential harm to children or pets (see below), then consider natural cleaning products. You can make your own cleaning products out of everyday kitchen items for safer, cheaper and even more effective cleaning.

Keep Kids and Pets Safe

  • Hospitals, including children’s hospitals like LeBonheur, often see an upswing of children poisoned by cleaning products in the spring months, so make sure to watch your children carefully if you’re using any dangerous cleaning products.
  • To prevent slipping, keep children off of wet floors and make sure you’re careful walking across wet floors, too.
  • If using harsh chemical cleaning supplies, wipe down any areas you’ve cleaned and make sure they’re dry before letting children near them.
  • Don’t leave buckets of water or cleaning solution around if you have children or pets, because they might drink out of them or try to get inside.
  • Keep cleaning products locked away when not in use.

Parents can find many more safety resources for their children, including Tennessee-specific information, from LeBonheur Children’s Hospital’s website.

Remember if you’re ever injured and it’s not your fault, our attorneys may be able to help.

Know any other tips for staying safe during cleaning times or found a way that works for you? Tell us about it in the comments.

(Photo by Sanja Gjenero.)