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Laundry Detergent Pods Mistaken for Candy by Children

We will do anything to protect our children. Unfortunately, sometimes the most harmless-looking products are also the most hazardous. When they first came on the market, the brightly colored laundry detergent pods were sold in clear containers, looking just like candy in a jar.

Now a rash of injuries and deaths are occurring with children after ingesting laundry detergent packets.

In today's news young children are reported to be suffering poisonings at a rate of 30 per day from these laundry detergent pods.

A recent study reveals that laundry detergent pods pose a serious poisoning risk to young children. Detergent in these single-load laundry detergent packets, sold under such names as Tide® PodsTM, Gain® FlingsTM, Purex Ultra Packs® and All Mighty Pacs®, is released when it mixes with liquids.

It is now understood that these laundry Pods may look like candy to a toddler. Infants and toddlers are easily poisoned when their saliva mixes with the detergent's chemicals.

To a curious young child, laundry pods are enticing, colorful packages.

Since 2012, more than 20,000 children have mistaken the bright and squishy laundry detergent pods for candy or teething toys, resulting in at least seven deaths.

Poison control centers across the United States have reported incidents of youngsters putting laundry detergent pods into their mouths, chewing on them, and squeezing them in their hands, causing them to rupture.

  • Reported injuries from ingesting laundry detergent pods:
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Wheezing or gasping for air
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Severe respiratory distress (requiring intubation)
  • Coma
  • Death

If the concentrated detergent gets in a child's eyes, serious injuries can occur, including corneal abrasions, ocular burns and temporary blindness.

These are all preventable accidents. Although parents and guardians must be more vigilant around all cleaning supplies, the manufacturers of the products have a duty to design their products in a responsible manner.

Anyone with common sense can see how dangerous it is to have liquid detergent in colorful, bite-sized packets that children will inevitably swallow. Toxic, concentrated detergent should not look like candy. It is irresponsible to market a product that is so unsafe to children.

These packets should be subject to the same robust safety measures and warning labels that we already expect on detergent, medicine, and similar household products.


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