Here’s What Happens When Kids Pick Between Toys and Household Chemicals

Don't give them the option

This Dutch PSA offers a striking reminder that brightly colored bottles are appealing to children—even when the bottles are filled with toxic liquids.

In the Netherlands (not to mention the U.S.), there's a high rate of accidents involving kids and household chemicals. So, the Dutch government's home-safety organization, along with its food-and-consumer-products watchdog and advertising agency Lemz, created this anxiety-inducing video to raise awareness of the issue.

Framing the video as an experiment, Lemz placed a bunch of babies, toddlers, and other youngsters in front of paired objects—a pink doll next to a pink bottle of stain remover. The agency used "a hidden camera, eye-tracking sensors, and a heart rate monitor," to measure the kids' attraction to the different objects. At best, they were torn fifty-fifty between the toys and the poison. But boy, do they love bleach… and playing with detergent cubes (at least, when compared to boring wooden blocks). 

The clearest takeaway, though, is probably that none of those pseudo-scientific assessments are really necessary in this case. Just seeing the kids eyeballing the options, with that endearingly troublesome look only kids can pull off, should be enough to get any sane, responsible adult screaming and waving at the screen for them to stop.

So, lock up the chemicals, far from reach, and put the heart rate monitor on the adults. While you're at it, hand out some Xanax, too.


Client: VeiligheidNL & The Dutch National Food Products Authority (NVWA)

Agency: Lemz

Research Agency: Braingineers

Film and Sound: Filmgasten

Sound Engineering: M-ost

3-D Illustration: Colorbleed

Technical Production: Thispagecannotbefound

Media Agency: Stroom

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.
Publish date: October 15, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT