You might have heard the recent reports of an online challenge for teens which is dangerous and can be deadly. The challenge shows teenagers filming themselves while ingesting laundry pods. Already in 2018, there have been 40 reported exposures nationally to liquid laundry detergent pods by 13- to 19-year-olds. That figure represents 20% of the total number of similar incidents in all of 2017. In addition to teens, the pods are colorful and look like candy to a young child.
Poison centers receive many calls each year about children getting into laundry detergent. Swallowing it often causes mild stomach upset, if there are any symptoms at all, but poison center experts say the new highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry detergent packets seem to be different.
In 2017, through December 31, poison centers received reports of 10,570 exposures to highly concentrated packets of laundry detergent by children 5 and younger. Note: The term “exposure” means someone has had contact with the substance in some way; for example, ingested, inhaled, absorbed by the skin or eyes, etc. Not all exposures are poisonings or overdoses.
Experts at your local poison center urge parents and caregivers to:
- Always keep detergent containers closed, sealed and stored up high, out of the reach of children.
- Follow the instructions on the product label.
- Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you suspect a child has come in contact with this detergent.
Find out more with the AAPCC fact sheet on laundry pods.
Photo © 2014 by Mike Mozart under Creative Commons license.