It seems like technological advances make life a little bit easier every day. Laundry detergent pods have been on the market for several years and seem like a convenient and economical way to take care of laundry – a household chore many people would like to make as easy and hassle-free as possible.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, however, an astonishing 17,000 children were injured by laundry detergent pods between 2012 and 2013. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reports that 4,864 children ages 5 and under were exposed to single-load laundry detergent pods in a four-month period.
Filled with highly concentrated liquid detergent, these pods can cause serious injury when ingested. Because they are small, colorful, and malleable, they are especially attractive to small children, who can confuse them for toys or even candy.
Poison Control Center Tips For Parents
The AAPCC reports that laundry detergent pods can cause a variety of symptoms if ingested. Parents have reported excessive vomiting, wheezing, gasping, sleepiness, corneal abrasions, and breathing difficulty that requires a ventilator.
The AAPCC recommends the following tips for parents who use laundry detergent pods:
- Store the pods up high in a closed, sealed container out of the reach of children.
- Always follow the instructions on the product label.
- Contact a poison control center immediately if a child ingests a laundry detergent pod or if you suspect a child has ingested one.