Detergent pods can be a blessing for individuals who have a difficult time measuring the right amount of laundry detergent. But can these little packets that save time and prevent mess be harmful for your little “blessing”?
Almost 8,200 children were injured by laundry pods between January 1 and September 30, 2014- either from ingesting the packets or getting the chemicals in their eyes- according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). The Wall Street Journal also reported that at least three children died that year as a result of laundry pod poisoning.
This epidemic is not just affecting American children. In September 2012, Great Britain’s Archives of Disease in Childhood reported that almost 650 service calls were received by the National Poisoning Information Service regarding laundry detergent poisoning.
Remedy’s Health Communities suggests that children often mistake the pods for candy due to the brightly colored packaging. However, the harmful contents will do more than cause cavities.
Remedy advises that the detergent chemicals are highly alkaline and will cause damage very quickly once the rubbery casing is broken.
The amount of damage can vary based upon the level of ingestion. Children who ingest a minimal amount of detergent may experience an upset stomach. However, children who swallow the detergent pod can experience more serious-even fatal- side effects.
Serious side effects of laundry detergent pod poisoning include:
- seizure-like symptoms
- breathing difficulties
Parents who suspect their child may have ingested or suffered harmful exposure to the chemicals in a laundry or dishwasher detergent pod are urged to contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
Because manufacturers failed to take the proper precautions to create safer packages and containers, parents may be eligible to file a laundry detergent pod lawsuit if their child was injured as a result of the product. Contact a products liability attorney for more information.