Send a message to parents: Don't let children warm up to antifreeze

December 14, 2005

We all need to stay warm at this time of year-and that includes automobiles. The cardinal rule when handling antifreeze (and windshield wiper fluid) is, of course, not to swallow it. Always remember, therefore, to tell parents to keep these two poisons out of reach of children and pets. Other cautions also apply.

We all need to stay warm at this time of year-and that includes automobiles. The cardinal rule when handling antifreeze (and windshield wiper fluid) is, of course, not to swallow it. Always remember, therefore, to tell parents to keep these two poisons out of reach of children and pets. Other cautions also apply.

You can offer other safety tips about antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid during routine visits:

  • Never use windshield washer fluid indoors or as a cleaning product
  • Always keep antifreeze and windshield washer fluid in their original container, with the label intact
  • Always read the label for directions on use, storage, and disposal
  • Clean up spills immediately. An antifreeze puddle in the garage or driveway is a safety hazard and can be extremely harmful to children and pets--and to wild animals, such as birds
  • Contact a local hazardous chemical or disposal agency for guidelines on safe disposal
  • Check the car regularly for leaks. Never give a child or pet access to the area when draining antifreeze from the car
  • Propylene glycol-containing antifreeze is less toxic than conventional ethylene glycol products and may be a suitable alternative.

Source: The New Jersey Poison Control Center