Just when you thought your house was child-proof, a new product comes along that may pose a danger to curious little hands. Single-use laundry detergent packets were launched in February as an alternative to the messy, bulky bottles. But poison control centers report that there have been nearly 250 cases of children confusing the brightly colored packets for candy and swallowing them, according to ABC News.
The reaction that comes about after ingesting the packets is more severe than typical detergent poisoning—symptoms include nausea and breathing problems. Dr. Michael Buehler of the Carolinas Poison Center guessed that this was due to the concentrated nature of the packets, which carry a full cup's worth of detergent in bite-size form. Alternatively, the detergent in the packet might activate more quickly or differently.
"The children get sicker, more severe, and they do this quicker than what we've seen with standard liquid laundry exposure," Buehler said.
Tide has promised to have new child-proof containers out this summer. They have also been working with poison control centers and advocacy groups to make sure parents know more about the risks of their detergent packets.
Have you made the switch from powder or liquid laundry detergent to the new packet form? Do you store them the same way as other hazardous cleaning products?