While celebrating my grandson Connor’s birthday, my thoughts drifted back to a warm summer day long ago. My daughter Kate was visiting with her two boys, Calum 4 and Connor 1. We were relaxing with a cup of coffee and good conversation with the boys playing in the nearby room.
Suddenly Connor came into the room crying, his chubby little legs barely keeping up with his body as he literally burst through the door. We immediately noticed a strange powdery substance, almost like sugar, around his mouth. To our horror we saw little bubbles begin to emerge as he fought to spit out the powdery-looking stuff.
While Kate tried to comfort him I grabbed the phone and called the Poison Control Hotline. I knew he must have wandered into my kitchen where I had left an open dishwasher. As the operator tried to calm me down, I gave her the scenario, describing Connor’s behavior and symptoms. She immediately asked me, “What product has the baby ingested? I replied, “Why, my non-toxic Shaklee Dishwashing Powder“, describing the brand and ingredients to her as fast as I could. I could hear the relief in her voice as she replied, “The baby will be just fine ….just a few bubbles….. just wash him up, comfort him and thank God that you did not have a toxic powder in the dishwasher dispenser!”
Following that event I began to do some research on what could have happened that day had I used another product. First of all I was shocked to learn that every year five to ten million household poisonings are reported, the immediate result of accidental ingestion of common cleaning, pesticide, personal care and other household products. Many of these poisonings are fatal, and most of the victims are children. I learned that the immediate effects of chemical exposure such as what Connor might have ingested in that split second could have resulted in a red and blistered face along with the inside of his mouth and tongue turning white. Those children who actually swallowed the powder often requires several operations to reopen the scarred esophagus Some children literally have to eat through tubes for months while going through operation after operation.
I took a trip to the grocery store and found that every dishwashing product on the shelf had chlorine as its first ingredient. The chlorine in conventional detergents is easily vaporized by hot dishwasher water and then released into our home’s air. I had not used anything but my non-toxic Shaklee products for the last 15 years and literally forgot what lethal chemicals are in these toxic products.
I feel so blessed that someone shared environmentally-safe, non-toxic products with me and made a difference in my life and certainly that of my grandson Connor’s life that day! I think of every day as Earth Day and the daily choices we make can make an enormous difference.