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Never Do This When Around Your Family, Say Health Experts

Seven things health experts warn you shouldn't do inside your household.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

We all have bad habits and it's easy to keep those habits up around your family since that's who you're likely the most comfortable around. But certain things are an absolute no, no according to health experts because not only do they rub off on others in your household, they can be dangerous to your health. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with health experts who revealed seven things not to do around your family. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Don't Use Unlabeled Containers for Toxic Chemicals

Woman doing housework.

Dr. Nima Majlesi, DO, director of Medical Toxicology at Staten Island University Hospital reveals, "On a weekly basis I am called for patients who unintentionally drank some sort of toxic chemical thinking it was water, Gatorade, juice or other type of drink. Some of these toxic chemicals include detergents, cleaning liquids, antifreeze and even drain cleaner. These exposures lead to emergency department visits and even occasionally significant illness. Especially for young children."


Never Mix Bleach and Ammonia to Clean Your Bathroom

Female washing bathtub in yellow rubber gloves with orange sponge.

According to Dr. Majlesi, "The combination of bleach and ammonia when mixed can lead to the release of a gas called chloramine. This gas when inhaled can lead to significant injury to the lung and occasionally lead to respiratory failure. Use one or the other. NEVER MIX THEM."


Avoid the Use of Colorful Laundry Pods With Toddlers in the Home

laundry detergents next to fresh laundry in basket

Dr. Majlesi reminds us, "Colorful laundry pods are very tempting for children to bite and attempt to ingest. The ingestion of these pods can lead to significant poisoning especially in toddlers. They can become poorly responsive and lethargic, develop significant inflammation of their gastrointestinal tract and even cause significant breathing difficulty. I would avoid using these for your laundry until children are old enough to understand the dangers of certain substances."


Dispose of All Excessive Controlled Substances in Your Home

Dr. Majlesi says, "Controlled substances in the home, especially opioids, can lead to significant dangers for exposure and diversion to others. When ingested, opioids can lead to respiratory arrest and death in young children. Many police headquarters have dates where you can return meds or if not, you can simply flush them down the toilet." 

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Labeling Food as Good or Bad

eating at restaurant

Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN Registered Dietitian and Author at Fit Healthy Momma explains,"Calling food "good or bad" is a habit that I try to break in people. This labeling of foods can set the example to younger family members that foods are inherently good or bad, leading to skewed perceptions and negative feelings toward foods. Instead, I recommend saying there are "better options'."

Milda Zolubaite, a Disordered Eating Specialist at Nutrition Path adds, "Avoid taking a black-and-white approach around food and labelling foods. Some foods might be beneficial to one person and not so much to the other and it's important to take a more neutral stance around food. Food labelling can be unhelpful if family members struggle with their relationship with food or experience anxiety, as sometimes when you say "that's "bad' food", they can hear "I am bad for eating it" and can turn towards food guilt and shame and form a difficult relationship with food. Aim to call foods "nourishing", "fun" and stay neutral, where possible." 

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Eating in Front of the TV

kids eating chips on a couch

Blanca Garcia, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. says, "Eating in front of the TV This unhealthy habit is often unnoticed; almost everyone who owns a TV has eaten in front of it and has not given it a second thought. Eating in front of the TV is unhealthy because watching TV and eating can increase unnecessary calories in the diet; the person becomes unaware of their hunger and satiety cues and ultimately can lead to obesity. Often, if a parent eats watching TV, the children pick up the habit as well, and it can become a lifestyle." 

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Going to Bed Late

woman sleeping at night with eye mask

"All habits pick up at a young age; most children will pick up all or most parent habits. If you tend to stay up past midnight and your child does not have a set sleep time," Garcia states. "This will create a situation where the child will progressively sleep later and later. That can, in turn, become an adult that also sleeps past midnight. Not getting enough sleep can lead to increased stress and not enough time to allow the body to recover from the days' activities." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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