Laundry Detergent “Pods” Causing Danger to Children

The latest in laundry detergents is known as detergent pods—small individual packets that are dropped into the washing machine, eliminating the need for measuring liquid or powder detergent. This is a time-saver and mess-free.

The problem is that adults aren’t the only ones attracted to these new pods.  Toddlers can confuse these shiny, bright colored pods with candy. Even the container looks like a candy jar!

There have been approximately 3,000 cases of accidental ingestion of these laundry pods reported to poison control nationwide, mostly in children under five years of age.

Michael Wahl, Medical Director of the Illinois Poison Center states, “it’s very concentrated. So when little kids bite into this concentrated detergent, it really reacts within their bodies in a different way than regular detergent does.”

Toxicologist Kurt Kleinschmidt says that within a matter of minutes, you’ll see those symptoms, which include rapid vomiting, nausea, coughing and difficulty breathing.  “27 percent of people exposed to a standard laundry detergent will see symptoms. With these pods, it was like 76 percent,” said Kleinschmidt.

Several of the detergent pod manufacturers say they are redesigning the packaging so it’s harder for little hands to get into.

Safety experts recommend parents either store the detergent pods high up where children cannot reach or suggest parents not buy this product until their children are a bit older.

So far there have been no reports of death, but if not treated immediately, children face a serious risk of fatalities.

For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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