No Liquid Soap Allowed in Pre-School Bathroom: Children Might Drink It

Readers — What can I say? It’s as if our country — its administrators, regulators, insurance execs and many everyday folks — are in competition with each other. The game is, “Can you think of a way that X or Y  is dangerous?” If you can’t, well, clearly you don’t care enough about safety. Don’t be surprised if you are snubbed at the playground/voted out/passed over for the big promotion. But if you are clever enough to come up with a way that X or Y could, conceivably, even once in a very very very long while hurt someone, well BING! BING! BING! BING! You win! You’re proven you’re good at “threat assessment” and can now go on to the next step: Creating a protocol to make sure that the nearly non-existent danger is nearly non-existent. (Yes, I realize that means you haven’t changed the threat level one iota. That was never the purpose! Obviously you can’t make anyone safer if they are already safe. Your job is simply to ESTABLISH this bureaucratically.) Now that you’ve done SOMETHING, even something POINTLESS you get your reward! More rules to enforce!

Speaking of which, here’s a note from a reader:

Dear Free-Range Kids: So in my state the child care regulations state that children may be allowed to go to the bathroom by themselves if they can handle the whole process without help. This pretty much means kids 4 or 5 and older. But now the local licensing folks have ruled that you cannot leave the liquid hand soap in the bathroom. The kid has to come out and have the adult dispense the soap. This is all because the kid might put the soap in his or her mouth.

Putting aside the unlikelihood of this happening, if it did, the child would spit it out quickly and the small amount would do no harm. But the office seems to be going for zero risk, a really scary concept. – Day Care Lady in New York

These girls are old enough not to guzzle soap.

69 Responses to No Liquid Soap Allowed in Pre-School Bathroom: Children Might Drink It

  1. Jessika November 24, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Has any adult tasted soap? Have they preceded to drink more? Well, that should answer it. If adults won’t crank down a whole bottle without later jumping around cursing their luck, then kids absolutely won’t.

    At my local hospital which I frequent far too often, staff has removed hand alcohol in the public rest-rooms throughout the hospital. People (with an addiction problem) would scour around for it and drink the stuff. But hand alcohol isn’t soap.

  2. Brianna S November 24, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    Hey, are you ever going to email me back?

  3. LTMG November 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    Please don’t point out to these idiots that there is water (certainly more palatable than the soap) in the toilets that the kids might be tempted to drink. If the fools noticed and felt compelled to promulgate some new rule, one could only imagine how bizarre it could be.

  4. Kate November 25, 2012 at 1:32 am #

    In five years of assisting in pre-school and kindergarten I never had a student drink the soap. We did have one little boy who insisted on using it like hair gel until he wound up getting it in his eye one day (as we’d warned him would happen).

  5. Bridget November 25, 2012 at 1:41 am #

    Reality is, they will play with it and make a mess. I have seen it in the daycare centers time and time again. They use too much because they want to play with the bubbles.

  6. Anne November 25, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    I work in a preschool with 3 year old children. We have liquid soap in our bathroom and the children have never, not once, tried to drink it. They are 3 year old but they are wise enough to know not to drink the soap.

    But I suppose we are risking their safety by daring to have liquid soap. Never mind the fact that there is always a staff member present to assist the children in the bathroom and we are very safety aware with them.

  7. Nicole November 25, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    It would be interesting to know if bar soap would be allowed.. Because wouldn’t they bite it and eat it? Good grief!

  8. Sansha Johnson November 25, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    Even if they drank the whole thing, is it actually toxic? I mean I don’t imagine it is very nutritious but I wouldn’t imaging it was actually going to harm them.

  9. Rachel November 25, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    Would kids even know what bar soap is in this day and age?

    My daughter’s tasted the bubbles in her bubble bath a couple times. Makes a face, doesn’t do it again for a week or two. And that’s soap in a format that looks way yummier – bubbles! Just don’t use soap that smells delicious and they won’t even be tempted.

  10. Helen November 25, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    This reminds me of the scene in “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie’s mom washes out his mouth with soap and he dreams that he goes blind from SOAP POISONING!

    Pul-leeez people. A bit of perspective?! We should ban liquid soap because it is a pain in the behind for the poor janitor to clean up…not because our precious petunias will drink it and somehow come to an untimely demise.

  11. BK November 25, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    I teach 6- & 7-year-olds. This year I had to take home my own bottle of dish soap that I stored (hidden in a cabinet that kids never go in) for when I eat lunch in my classroom. I insisted that I don’t use it on anything that the kids touch or put into their mouths, just on my own dishes, and it’s DISH SOAP, so it should be relatively safe, right? But — you guessed it — kids might find it and drink it! Now I carry dirty dishes home from school. Ridiculous.

  12. Jamie November 25, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    Google “nontoxic hand soap” and you’ll immediately be bombarded with about fifty brands of “safe” soap to choose from, many of which are specifically designed to be used by young children. If soap-chugging is really such a huge problem – which it isn’t – there are better ways to handle it than forcing adults to hover over kids and walk them through the extremely complicated and dangerous process of washing their hands. What a waste of time.

  13. Jespren November 25, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    I have a kid who *did* drink liquid soap. Given, she was like 18 months, and it wasn’t very much, but more than you’d think the taste would allow for (several swallows). I promptly called poison control center (some of the ingredients in there sounded less than ideal). I was told 1) all soap sold in the U.S. is mandated to be ‘safe’ to ingest and 2) there had never been an occurance of ‘soap poisoning’ in the U.S.

  14. AW13 November 25, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    On Thanksgiving, I was taking a pan of stuffing out of the stove. I set it on top of the stove. My son was watching me. He went to poke it and I warned him, “Don’t touch that, it’s hot.” He went to poke it again, looking at me, and I said, “It’s going to hurt.” So he quickly poked it with his finger, pulled it back and muttered “That’s hot!”, grinned up at me, and didn’t do it again. This is what I would imagine would happen if any kid ingested soap – it’s disgusting and they wouldn’t do it again.

    And you’re absolutely right about the Christmas Story reference – I love that!!!

  15. Dawn L. November 25, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Can you ask the local licensing folks where they got the idea that kids voluntarily drinking soap was a problem? I always thought that soap in mouth was a famous punishment for using profanity.

    I thought four-year-olds had already mastered the concept of wanting to eat things that taste good and not wanting to eat brussels sprouts.

    It’s not like it’s deadly dangerous or anything. Even if a kid ignores the horrible taste ans swallows, they’ll just get an upset stomach.

    Jespren’s comments can also be verified with poison control people and used for backup.

  16. Silver Fang November 25, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Maybe they saw The Woman in Black and freaked out over that scene where the little girl coughed up blood and died after drinking lye.

  17. Lollipoplover November 25, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Honestly, if you’re going to have an adult to dispense soap, you might as well have another to wipe their asses like they are still babies. I’m lucky if mine actually USE the soap at age 4 or 5 instead of just rinsing! What are you letting them do by themselves?

    But the legend of soap poisoning lives on….

  18. Dave November 25, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    The only time I ever tasted soap was when my father washed my mouth out for cursing. That would probably be child abuse now. I lived and am no worse for wear. No one every ate enough soap to die and those who have had soap in their mouth never do it a second time.

  19. mysticeye November 25, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    If you drank liquid soap you’d probably be sick – ie vomit or diarrhea. I mean it’s not terribly good for you. That’s not really a reason to not use it.

    I wonder if they still let the kids blow bubbles, lest someone drink that? When I was babysitting I had one of my own kids dump an entire container of bubble soap in his eyes. That was no fun, had to carry him in the house, trust the other kids to come in (the two I was baby sitting were old enough to be out by themselves buy my youngest was only 2) and then try to rinse the soap out of eyes and hair.

    Kids will eat the darndest things tough, like perfume, drain cleaner. Usually not by the time they are 4 but you never know. Still no reason to ban soap.

  20. TRS November 25, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    I think it is more dangerous not to wash your hands after you use the bathrooms. How are the kids going to learn this w/o given the opportunity to do it on their own. Nothing spreads germs faster than poor hand washing.

  21. Chris Liebig November 25, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Ha, when I was a kid I was in my cousin’s bathroom and saw a dish of multi-colored items (shaped like shells?) that looked tasty, so naturally I took a bite. It took me about a second to figure out it was fancy soap, not candy, and of course I immediately spat it out (and concealed the evidence). I lived to tell the tale.

    At my kids’ school, every year all the kids are split into small groups and taken into the bathroom and instructed on how they must flush the toilet and use no more than two squirts of soap and one paper towel. This happens even with *seventh graders*, one of whom is chosen to wash his or her hands while the entire group sings “Happy Birthday,” to demonstrate how long you should spend washing your hands.

    Because education = infantilization, right?

  22. Yan Seiner November 25, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    I remember reading a children’s story about “cat and dog” washing the floor and the dog ate the soap thinking it was cheese. General hilarity ensued, mostly with poor dog foaming at the mouth and being sick.

    Here’s the cartoon (starts at 2:34):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKWMjNr_1KI

    seems like someone watched too much of this video?

    As for banning liquid soap, this is nothing short of ridiculous. Has any kid ever drunk the soap? It’s like my old college banning paper towels in the bathroom because the students “might” have fights with them.

  23. Yan Seiner November 25, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    @Chris: Wait, what? 7th graders? You gotta be kidding me. We just had a group of Japanese 7th graders come visit. They stayed for a week with host families. Good kids, all somewhat shy and scared, but certainly capable of acting like responsible young adults.

    I can’t imagine kids at that age standing in a bathroom singing a song while someone washes his hands. And BTW, singing “Happy Birthday” without permission is a violation of copyright and will subject the school to severe penalties if the author’s estate finds out about it.

  24. S November 25, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    This is exactly why I’m moving from NY to VT. Too many stupid rules and regulations.

  25. Amy November 25, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    My 2 year old drank some VS body wash once, she quickly spit it out and started crying because of the taste. She has not done it since but she does like to have a small amount of her body wash in a bottle so can can put it on herself to “clean” as she puts it. I am in the process of potty training her i thought her how to wash her hands after using the bathroom, she insists on squirting the soap in her on hands and I am not afraid she will try to put it in her mouth even if it does smell like sugar and honey.

  26. Amanda Matthews November 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    4 or 5 and older? Eeek. My 2 year old can handle it, and doesn’t like anyone helping. He will literally hold it all day if not allowed to go by himself…

  27. Fern November 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    I worked in a pubic, early-intervention preschool for 3-6 year olds with severe disabilities. Only one chid ever drank the soap. He had a severe congenital syndrome with some characteristics of autism as well as diagnosed pica. He would eat glue, soap, lotion, dirt, and poop in quantities large enough to be dangerous. When he could no longer access those products in his classroom, he worked very hard to escape and go into other classrooms (when those classes were at lunch) and eat their soap, glue, etc. The school needed to work together to make a plan to keep him safe. He could not be left alone with soap or other products, but he was the rare exception. I never worked with another child like him. We didn’t need a school-wide, district-wide, or state-wide policy. We simply needed school staff in classrooms around the preschool to work together to keep him safe.

  28. Emily November 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    In the 3-5 year old daycare classroom I used to work in, we tried having bar soap out at all the sinks. Not because of safety, but because the kids liked to play with the liquid soap and fill the whole sink with bubbles when we let them go to the bathroom on their own (which was always, unless they asked us for help). But when Social Services came for our inspection, we were told we were not allowed to have bar soap because the germs would linger on it. Because children haven’t survived thousands of years without antibacterial liquid hand soap. Sheesh.

    It doesn’t matter that science is now telling us that over-santizing our children is actually detrimental to their health. It doesn’t matter that kids don’t drink liquid soap. All that matters is paranoia.

  29. Gnatselbow November 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Heehee! I actually remember trying soap as a kid. It was bar soap made to look like giant lifesavers. I licked one and very quickly learned that they did not taste like lifesavers.

  30. Emily November 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    When I was two years old, I once bit into a bar of soap while taking a bath, because the soap was pink, and it smelled good, and I thought that things smelled the way they tasted. I swear, I STILL remember how bad it tasted, and I can still feel the bubbles coming out my nose. My mom was right there, and she felt badly for me, but she couldn’t help laughing. Anyway, the moral of this story is, by the time I was responsible for taking care of my own personal hygiene, I knew that soap wasn’t meant to be ingested. Until now, I assumed that most kids figured it out at a similar age, but I guess I was wrong.

  31. Dan November 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    So when I was a kid, if you spoke with a “dirty mouth” it needed to be “washed out with soap”. There’s a reason parents used that punishment… it tastes terrible. Does anyone really think that a child would drink it on purpose?

  32. Emily November 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    P.S., I’m the Emily who ate soap one time as a toddler; not the Emily who works in a day care. Maybe we should figure something out so that everyone else can tell us apart.

  33. Heath November 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    As a child I tried liquid soap. Let this be a warning to other. I didn’t realise at the time it was well known with other preschoolers as an entry level soap. Pretty soon I was on the hard stuff…cakes of soap. We would nibble on them at the back of the playground. Drinking water at the same time would have us look like rabid dogs but with bigger bubbles of foam.
    But I didn’t stop there. Soon I was sneaking dish washing liquid from home. A swig here and a swig there. I was losing control. I moved from biodegradable to concentrate for a bigger bubble.
    Now I am a sorry picture of soap abuse. Laundromats, public restrooms, stray soap flakes and powder in the supermarket aisle. Anywhere I can get a hit of bubble-o you will find me. Sure I have clean clothes and hands and a lingering fresh fragrance but is it worth it?

  34. Ben November 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Honestly, if a kid is old enough to visit the bathroom by themselves, they’re old enough not to drink the soap.

    What is next? Banning soap bars because they could eat them? If you can’t have soap in a bathroom with kids they’ll have to confront the germs and in this particular case, those are an actual existing threat.

  35. Elly November 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    My now nearly five year old son tried brushing his teeth with liquid soap a few years ago. Once, very very briefly. He never tried it again.

  36. Stacey November 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    so instead of teaching kids not to drink soap, which most kids know anyway, we shoud avoid letting them anywhere near it and hope that when they eventually see it at some point in their lives they will magically know what it is and know not to drink it then?

  37. Jenna K. November 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Because preschoolers are often caught drinking soap? I have five children and not one of my kids ever tried drinking liquid soap.

  38. CS November 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    Whatever would happen if the licensure board found out about dihydrogen monoxide? It ‘s EVERYWHERE.

  39. hineata November 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    @Chris and Yan – of course, the ‘7th graders in the bathroom thing’ must be more about discipline than anything else. We have problems with some of our little darlings – anything up to age 11 – blocking the sinks and anything else they can with paper towels etc, throwing wads at the ceiling, hiding in the loos when they’re in trouble/throwing a paddy/ have just mouthed off to the wrong kid/just purely for fun.

    Liquid soap is the least of the hassles possible in a toilet block for kids….and soap one of the more harmless things they might be tempted to ingest.

  40. bmj2k November 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    So a kid goes to the bathroom, leaves without washing his hands, thrusts them at an adult who squirts some soap in them, the kid goes back into the bathroom and washes hands. Does this make sense to anyone? And the poor adults who deal with those unwashed hands all day? That’s ok, I guess. seriously, what kid is going to drink the hand soap, the thick, awful-tasting handsoap?

  41. Donald November 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Every year children die of drinking household chemicals. Bleach, turpentine and other cleaners have a child proof lid. However, it still happens. It’s tragic. The brain is still developing in a child and not all children knows that not all liquids are safe to drink.

    I agree that it’s possible for a child to drink liquid soap. This can make for an upset tummy, vomiting, and lots of tears. However if they don’t know that not all liquids are OK to drink, they’re much better off learning from hand soap than from turpentine!

    We try to child proof the world but can’t make it 100% safe. Therefore we also need to world proof the child.

    This bureaucracy is neglectful and short sighted. 5 year old Timmothy may end up drinking bleach! Too bad that he didn’t learn not to do this because the preschool took away the soap!

  42. Donna November 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    @hineata -But why have them sing and demonstrate how to clean your hands? That sounds much more like a hand cleaning lesson than a discipline lesson.

  43. hineata November 25, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    @Donna – true….I suppose I thought they might simply be trying to drive the kids so crazy they’d obey, just to make it stop!

    How’s the holiday planning going? Weather is going grey at the moment, so you might get your wish for a cooler clime..:-)

  44. Don Berg November 26, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    In the realm of global terrorism there is a term for the kinds of things that bureaucrats do in reaction to attacks that make people feel better but do absolutely nothing to make them any safer, “security theater.” Most of the stuff at the airport is security theater, it does nothing to make us safer, it just makes it seem that way. It’s time we started talking about “child safety theater.” Child safety theater are the things that bureaucrats do to make themselves feel better but do absolutely nothing to help children. And the ridiculous stuff parents are being sold is all part of the act. It’s theatrics, not reality.

  45. Clean November 26, 2012 at 5:05 am #

    So sick of all these RULES which don’t allow exploring. I’m happy to keep my child safe the children at preschool but also some risks need to be taken. I could be considered neglectful as I don’t put a spoon in for my daughters yogurt…reason is she’s learning to ask for help…problem solve.

  46. linvo November 26, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    lol Heath! That is a truly tragic story of soap-dependency that justifies the war on soap.

    My daughter used liquid soap at daycare by herself from when she was 2.5. I think they spent quite a bit of time teaching the kids proper bathroom manners. I watched quite a few of them wash their hands when I went to pick her up and never even saw any of them being wasteful with the soap. I reckon elementary school kids are worse in that regard. Which is probably why there is usually no soap nor paper towels to be found in any of the toilets at my daughter’s school and the toilets are filthy at the end of the day. Gross!

  47. Ann November 26, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Oh good grief! What is the world coming to? Who cares if a kid eats a little soap? Hasn’t every kid at some point put a bar of soap in their mouth only to find out it tastes horrible? Do the people who make these rules keep liquid soap in their bathrooms at home that their 4-5 year olds use? I sure do. My 4 year old loves to play in there and make bubbles for hours (which is fine by me… she is simultaneously cleaning both her hands and the sink), but she never drinks the stuff!

  48. Warren November 26, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Why bother dispensing the soap and sending them back to wash? By that time, if they have any bacteria on their hands, they will have spread it on door handles, desks, walls and anything else they have touched on their way back to class, to get the soap.

  49. A Dad November 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Check out the hazards of Dihydrogen Monoxide
    http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

    It’s amazing how dangerous this chemical is (much more so than soap)

    😉

  50. bathtub refinishing November 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Honestly to avoid such things we need to make our bathroom safety features more secure. We can do it by specialized bathroom designers.

  51. Maegan November 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    The idea of doling out hand soap for my twins every time they wash their hands at home just about sends me into a coma. And how annoying for them that by the time they’re five years old, they’ll have been using it at home alone for years, but would still have to ask an adult to get it for them!

  52. Dawn L. November 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    @Donald: EXCELLENT POINT. Learning not to drink icky stuff is actually a valuable and useful SAFETY LESSON that is far better learned with nasty-but-nontoxic soap than something actually dangerous.

    The kids should be ENCOURAGED to taste the soap FOR SAFETY REASONS.

    A bit of a stretch, but less of a stretch than the original idea and, more importantly, for exactly the same reason, so you can use the “but don’t you care about children’s safety?” right back at them.

  53. Maegan November 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    “But when Social Services came for our inspection, we were told we were not allowed to have bar soap because the germs would linger on it.”

    This is why, when I bathe myself, I wash my hands first and then only use my clean hands and “clean” liquid soap to finish the job. Of course, I require a handmaiden to hold the dirty soap bottle and dispense it to me as needed. This is the only logical way for me to avoid disease.

  54. Donna November 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    hineata – LOL. That would be a good punishment. “Everytime the bathroom is messy, we will make you do idiotic routine.”

    The holiday planning is finally coming together. Depending on how long you are camping, we may miss each other. It looks like we will be in Wellington Dec. 30 and 31. Can I specify cool, but pretty weather for the entire visit?

  55. Warren November 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Simple solution. Send all kids to school with their own private box of latex, or for the latex sensitive, nitrile disposable gloves. Go pee, change gloves. Sneeze, change gloves. Change them before and after snack, lunch and any other food consumption.

    That should work. They come in all sorts of fun colours, so pick your favorite.

  56. hineata November 26, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    @ Donna – bugger! Yep, we’ll be up away in Opotiki then, was hoping you’d hit town before Christmas! However hoping Catspaw will be around as I want her to feed the chicken etc! So you will probably be able to catch up with her – don’t you love being volunteered, neighbour?!

    Cheers

  57. Donna November 27, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    @ hineata – After numerous attempts at a general itinerary, it worked out best for us to do the South Island first so we don’t hit the north island until after Christmas. I think we are going the reverse of everyone else who visits New Zealnd but that’s the way we roll.

  58. Barak A. Pearlmutter November 27, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    Sorry to pee on the parade here, but when evaluating risks “it seems fine” or “we used to do it” may be good guidelines, but are hardly definitive, especially for chemical exposure.

    Technically speaking, the “bar soap” and “liquid soap” referred to here are not actually soap, but detergents. Actual soap is pretty safe to consume. Detergents, generally speaking, are not. Detergents (of the sort used for washing hands and dishes) give off estrogen analogues and, really and truly, are not good for little kids, even in pretty small quantities.

    The odds of getting breast cancer from exposure is low but not *that* low.

    So don’t chomp on the bubbles! Rinse their hands properly. And yeah, don’t eat the “soap”. And rinse the dishes.

  59. JM November 27, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    DCF came to the daycare I am at and made me put liquid soap at all 3 sinks (2 inside the bathroom 1 out side of it) because it is confusing to the children that they are supossed to wash their hand at the sink outside the bathroom and these were 3 year olds. The reason they were not allowed to use the bathroom sinks is because they like to play in them when they think no one is looking especially the 4 year olds. They love playing with taking the soap and rubbing it all over the sink. but this is in Florida

    We are NOT allowed to have uncooked rice inside of a glued shut bottle used for sensory actvities because we are not being sensitive to children who do not have food at home and also because a hungry child might break into the bottle and eat the rice but we also aren’t allowed to do the same thing with beads because a child might break into it and eat the beads and this was in a 4/5 class

  60. JM November 27, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Also another random rule is that I am not allowed to touch the children’s hands while helping them to wash them because even though we both have soap on our hands I am contaminated and must wash my hands again before helping the next child. That rule is something that only gets followed when licensing is around.

  61. John November 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    They’re all in a tizzy that a 5-year-old might taste a little soap? And to think that some 45 years ago, it was not that uncommon for the nuns to wash out a kid’s mouth with soap for using profanity. Despite of the kid never uttering a profain word again due to this stern form of discipline, a nun or teacher who did that today would be fired and thrown in jail while the kid continued his profanity laced diatribe. Besides, putting soap in your mouth is usually a < 1-year-old activity considering toddlers that age put EVERYTHING in their mouths! But a 4-year-old kid should be well past that stage. Obviously there are some people who know absolutely nothing about child psychology.

  62. Amanda Matthews November 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    @Donald “Every year children die of drinking household chemicals. Bleach, turpentine and other cleaners have a child proof lid. However, it still happens.”

    Wait, can we have some numbers on yearly ACCIDENTAL bleach and turpentine drinking deaths? The reason for the child proof cap is because those things are dangerous if just splashed on the skin or in the eyes. Googling it I can only find a few rare situations of toddlers accidentally drinking bleach when it was put into a sippy cup or bottle. Other than that they are all on purpose (murder attempts, suicide attempts, miscarriage-induction attempts).

    The smell of bleach is so bad that any child without sensory issues isn’t going to drink it (unless it is sealed in a sippy cup or bottle where it can’t be smelled). And how many people even keep turpentine in their houses nowadays?

    The only fatal thing I can think of that kids have been purposely drinking in recent times is antifreeze – and that’s because it smells and tastes sweet, and looks like kool-aid. Though even then there is more of a problem of ANIMALS drinking it than kids.

  63. Jess November 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    What a far cry from the days I was in preschool. I distinctly remember getting my mouth washed out with soap *by my preschool teacher*. I’m not scarred by it or anything, and it certainly deterred me from doing whatever got me in trouble in the first place. That said, I don’t think it’s a punishment I would use on my kids. My almost 4 year old daughter uses liquid soap all the time (the bar soap kept jumping out of her hands!), and I’m sure she’s never even thought about drinking it. The only problem we’ve ever had is sometimes she doesn’t rinse it off very well which causes her hands to get chapped. I just can’t believe this is actually a concern. What is this world coming to?

  64. Mom 2 Four November 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    Reminds me of the parent who asked our local school district to cut down all oak trees near school because her child might get near an acorn. I have a nut allergic son and NEVER have I worried he would eat an acorn? What is wrong, why have we lost our common sense.

  65. Jennifer November 28, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Apparently as a small child I fed my little sister half a bar of hotel soap, while my parents were unpacking. She threw up, but other than that no harm was done.

    If children drink the hand soap, they’ll learn that there’s a real reason why hand soap isn’t normally considered edible.

  66. Usually I Just Lurk December 5, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Broccoli flavored soap to the rescue!

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  1. Safety roundup - Overlawyered - December 4, 2012

    […] “No Liquid Soap Allowed in Pre-School Bathroom: Children Might Drink It” [Free-Range Kids] […]

  2. Free Range Kids » A Couple of Thoughts on Parental Fear (and Tempering It) - August 5, 2013

    […] and proceeding as if it is likely to happen. It’s the reason why upstate New York pre-schools no long allow liquid soap in the bathrooms. Kids MIGHT drink […]