The Preschool Supervisor's Guide to Safe Cleaning Supplies

Proper sanitation and good hygiene is important in all learning institutions regardless of the academic level. However, there needs to be greater emphasis on the two aspects in preschooling institutions that cater to young children. This is because young children are more vulnerable to developing health-related complications as a result of poor sanitation and hygiene.

Chemical cleaning supplies often contain harmful components that children should not be exposed to. Here is the preschool supervisor's guide to choosing child-safe cleaning supplies.

Always Look for a List of Ingredients

When shopping for cleaning supplies or inspecting supplies that a commercial school cleaning company recommends, a preschool supervisor should be wary of cleaning supplies that don't have a list of ingredients on their label. The list of ingredients is the only way for a teacher to ascertain the safety of cleaning supplies.

It's important to point out that not all cleaning supplies without an ingredients list are unsafe. Absence of the ingredients list should prompt a teacher to ask for more information about the product from the school cleaning company.

In the event that the school is responsible for purchasing cleaning supplies, products that don't have an ingredient's list should be avoided.

Break Down the Ingredients List

A simple identification of the list of ingredients cannot be sufficient to guarantee the safety of chemical cleaning supplies. It is important for a preschool supervisor to know which harmful chemicals she or he should look for on the ingredients list.

Ammonia is among the most commonly occurring compounds in commercial cleaning supplies. It has a shocking smell that is often confused with the smell of urine. Using ammonia-based cleaning supplies exposes children to the risk of severe irritation in the throat and nose.

Bleaching agents are also common in chemical cleaning supplies. Chlorine is perhaps the most commonly occurring bleaching agent. Long-term exposure of children to bleaching agents is known to cause eye irritation and/ or lung-related complications.

Fragrance chemicals are used to give chemical cleaning supplies a pleasant scent. In a large number of cases, the chemical compound used for fragrance in cleaning supplies is 2-butoxyethanol. This chemical will give school corridors and washrooms a pleasant scent at the expense of the children's good health. Children who inhale large quantities of fragrance chemicals may suffer from sore throats. Continued exposure to these chemicals is also bad for the kidney and liver.

Safety should always come before cost and all other considerations when choosing cleaning supplies to be used in preschools. There are no two ways about it.