This dreadful incident took place at Mt. Lofty in South Australia where we lived under a television transmitter in the Adelaide Hills. A bucket of very hot water sat on the floor in the hall outside the bathroom. Must have been 1965 because my youngest baby wasn't crawling yet. She and our puppy played on the floor a few steps away while I carried the mop through the bathroom door intent on my task. A piercing scream rent the air and sent me running back. My little one had managed to crawl to the bucket and pull it over onto herself. As a 23 year-old mother of three, I panicked. I carried her to the changing table and removed her cloth nappy which made her cry louder. One chubby leg was obviously scalded. After considering what to do, I finally rang for assistance to get to the nearest hospital. My daughter kept the scar well into adulthood, but it finally faded. However, my shame about being so lax remains on. If only I hadn't … You know how the recriminations go.
Many parents rely on germ-killing bleach to blast away illness-causing bacteria and leave the house sparkling. But this might have detrimental benefits.
The Centre for Environment and Health in Belgium looked at the potential impact of exposure to bleach among more than 9,000 schoolchildren between the ages of six and 12 in the Netherlands, Finland and Barcelona. Parents completed a questionnaire on the number and frequency of flu, tonsillitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, otitis (inflammation of the ear canal), and pneumonia infections their children had suffered in the preceding 12 months.
Researchers found a link between a weekly use of bleach in the home and the frequency of infections, particularly respiratory ones. One possible explanation was that the irritant properties of compounds generated during the cleaning process may damage the lining of lung cells, sparking inflammation and making it easier for infections to take hold.
The only thing I use bleach for is to remove the tea stain from pottery mugs. The china ones come clean with basic washing.
As for cleaning, you can't beat vinegar diluted with water. It lifts every mark, kills germs, smells fresh, and doesn't harm the air you breathe. I've recently used ½ cup vinegar in one pint of water to clean wooden furniture, drying the surface afterward. Worked a treat!
Do you think using bleach to clean and sanitize is worth the risk to your health?