As a parent, there's no greater feeling than when your little ones offer to lend a helping hand around the house. After all, getting children to participate in household chores can be one of the greatest challenges of parenthood. While you may be anxious to get your children involved in day-to-day clean up, it's important to keep a few things in mind so that your children are safe and you aren't sorry. For starters, many household cleaners are loaded with chemicals and have been linked to childhood illnesses ranging from asthma to cancer. We're talking about glass cleaner, laundry detergent, furniture polish, carpet shampoo and more. It's bad enough that our children are exposed to these chemicals - so we want to minimize their exposure to these products as much as possible. A study printed in the 2010 issue of Pediatrics found that an estimated 267,269 children were treated for illnesses or injuries relating to household cleaning products between 1990 and 2006.
Children ages one to three accounted for about 72 percent of these occurrences. If you choose to use common cleaning products around your house, always keep them locked away and out of reach of children. When you get your children in on the cleaning act, you can avoid the chemicals by preparing your own homemade cleaning concoctions, which are guaranteed to be chemical free. For windows, combine three tablespoons of vinegar and two cups of water in a spray bottle. For a stronger combination, reduce water and increase vinegar content. Another alternative to glass cleaners is a mixture of club soda and lemon juice to remove dirt and grime. All-purpose scrub is another quick and easy fix. Combine two cups of baking soda with 1/2 cup liquid castile soap. Add four tablespoons of vegetable glycerin. For toilet cleaning, pour baking soda in and top with vinegar. Set for 39 minutes. Scrub with a toilet brush.