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Laundry Detergent Pods Latest Poison Threat to Toddlers

Courtesy of the manufacturer

They feature bright colors in a swirly design, not unlike the look of a giant lollipop.  So it isn’t really surprising that toddlers are drawn to these squishy pods filled with detergent, but what is shocking is the all-too-common threat they are posing.   

In the United States, nearly 2,200 children age 5 and under either swallowed or got the detergent from laundry packets into their eyes during the first seven months of this year, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC).

PLUS: Poison Prevention

While swallowing laundry detergent usually only causes a mild upset stomach, the new packets are more potent.  The chemicals in laundry packets are highly alkaline, which can quickly damage soft tissues, Dr. Lyndsay Fraser, an ear, nose and throat doctor, told HealthDay.

Accidental ingestion is only becoming more common since we last reported that kids were mistaking the detergent pods for candy, leading many doctors to describe the detergent pods as the most common household product to be mistakenly swallowed.

"Kids are curious, and they explore things with their mouth," said Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician with The Everett Clinic and Seattle Children's Hospital, in Washington.

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Children who've swallowed the liquid in the pods may vomit, wheeze or gasp for air.  Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you think your child has ingested one. To protect children, parents should keep the pods far out of reach in a locked cabinet.

Do you think manufacturers should redesign packaging to be less appealing to toddlers or is it a parent’s responsibility to protect their child?  Leave a comment.