Detergent pods, they look like candy to a child!
These convenient laundry detergent pods are brightly colored and bite sized. Keep these out of reach…there have been reports of children becoming very ill when they have bitten into the pod.
There is a new study being published in the December 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics Journal, Pediatrics this week regarding these laundry pods. We knew there was some danger in these pods and young children, but this study shows us just how big a problem they are. According to this study, during 2012 and 2013, the first two years these pods hit the market in large quantities, an average of one child a day ended up in the ER from ingesting the detergent. Poison control centers had more than 17,000 calls or in other words about 1 call an hour regarding these pods. Most of the problems occur in children between the ages of 1 and 2.
Ask any Mom or Dad who has a young child what one of their biggest worries would be, and somewhere near the top of that list would be choking or poisoning. We know that young children tend to be very curious, and as they explore, everything goes into the mouth. Most parents work very hard to lock up poisons, latch cabinets, and put dangerous items out of reach, but sometimes there are items that are dangerous that we just don’t think about. One of those items might be the laundry detergent pods that are currently marketed by several companies. These pods are brightly colored little packets that have very concentrated laundry detergent and other cleaning agents in a convenient dissolving pod that you throw into the washer, no measuring and no mess. Sounds pretty convenient! The American Association of Poison Control Centers warned parents against these cute, convenient laundry detergent pods in 2012. Between May 17 and June 17, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that over 1/2 of the 1,008 cases of laundry detergent poisoning resulted from children biting into these pods. Some of these children became seriously ill very quickly. Every year there are children who get into laundry detergent, but most of these children get an upset tummy and do not become very ill, it seems that children who eat these pods become very ill very quickly.
Why is this laundry detergent so tempting? I looked at them in the store and they are brightly colored, squishy and fun to touch, and they really do look like a piece of packaged candy. I can see that these pods would definitely be tempting to a small child. Because they are made to dissolve in the washer, the concentrated detergent and packaging will dissolve very quickly in a child’s mouth resulting in the detergent entering a child’s system very quickly too.
The poison center warns parents to keep these pods, like all cleaning supplies, out of reach. Even those detergent pods that are in difficult to open packaging are not truly safe. We know that any self respecting toddler can get into a child proof lid faster than an adult…so put those laundry pods out of reach! Dishwasher detergent pods carry the same risk, those also need to be up and away.
So parents, here we go again, let’s protect our kids and spread the word about these cute, brightly colored, bite size laundry and dishwasher pods. If you are using these convenient detergent pods, keep them out of reach. If you think your child has eaten even a small amount from one of these pods, call Poison Control immediately at 1-800-222-1222. Do not wait to see if your child has a reaction since children seem to become severely ill fast. Kids do the darndest things…and one of those may be to take a bite out of a laundry detergent pod. Protect your child, keep dangerous items out of reach, and post the poison control number at all of your phones and in your cell phone now. While you are in the laundry room….check that dryer vent too! Dryer vent lint is a common fire hazard in our homes!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.