Keeping Your Children Safe from Windshield Wiper Fluid

 In Car Care Tips, Car Safety Tips

Windshield Wiper Fluid

Don’t you just wonder sometimes why windshield wiper fluid has to be bright blue? Maybe the companies who make it are trying to trick us into thinking it must be the “freezing” element in most coolants.

Maybe they are trying to deter kids from drinking it since it’s blue and not a natural color. Unfortunately, in today’s world of processed food, windshield wiper fluid can look an awful lot like Kool-Aid, making it very tempting for children to drink.

An Honest Mistake….

As hard as it is to imagine, there was a child care worker last year who accidentally poured wiper fluid into sippy cups and gave them to the children. Thankfully, it was a mistake that did not have fatal consequences, but that’s not always the case.

It’s very concerning that the daycare worker didn’t notice the strong methanol odor that is in windshield wiper fluid, or the simple fact that she had picked up a bottle of chemicals rather than juice. This goes for many fluids and chemicals we have around the house, not just wiper fluid.

Windshield wiper fluid has extremely high levels of acid which is known to kill brain cells rapidly and cause many problems with cardiac and respiratory systems. It can even lead to coma and death. This happens as a result of the liver’s inability to process the toxic ingredients in the methanol.

The liver already stores a certain amount of ethanol, which converts to acetaldehyde. If too much of it forms, a build-up of carbon dioxide creates problems that cause vomiting, headaches, feeling sleepy or sluggish or even passing out.

It behaves very similarly to toxic amounts of alcohol, otherwise known as alcohol poisoning. Methanol is a type of alcohol, so this stands to reason.

If you suspect your child has been poisoned by drinking windshield wiper fluid, you should call 911 first and then call the poison control center.

They will guide you on what to do while waiting for EMT to arrive. Most likely, the paramedics will inject ethanol into an IV to counteract the effects of the toxic levels of methanol from the wiper fluid.

So, what can you do to prevent any of this from happening in the first place? For starters, read the labels! Although the daycare worker missed what was clearly a chemical and not a fruit drink, common sense is called for here!

Also, make sure that there are child-proof caps on ALL chemical items in your home. Do NOT store windshield wiper fluid or any other auto chemicals under the sink in your kitchen! If the bottle doesn’t have a child-proof cap on it, don’t buy it. It’s that simple.

Truly, common sense can prevent most accidents from happening with chemicals around the house. Please never assume that kids will know the difference, or that they will stay away from it if it smells “yucky.” Too often, this is simply not the case.

If you have any other questions about windshield wiper safety, please stop by or see us today at Castrol Express Car Service. Your family’s safety is our #1 priority!

Castrol Express Car Service
240 E. Ovilla Rd
Red Oak, TX 75154


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