A new study published in Pediatrics detailed a 17% increase in phone calls to poison control centers in 2013-2014 seeking help for children who were accidentally exposed to the the contents of laundry detergent packets. When compared to liquid laundry detergent, laundry detergent packs are often bite sized, colorful, and much more toxic.
The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker previously blogged about this issue when Pediatrics published findings from 2012-2013. The increase in phone calls to poison control shows that the popularity of the detergent pods isn’t decreasing, nor are safety practices keeping up. Legislation was introduced to address the issue, but was withdrawn after manufacturers agreed to make the packaging taste ‘bitter’ and harder to open.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers advises to always keep laundry detergent pack containers closed, sealed, and away from reachable areas. The Center for Injury Research and Policy, the authors of the study published in Pediatrics, strongly advised parents of young children to avoid using laundry detergent packs altogether.
Symptoms of poisoning from a laundry detergent pod can include difficulty breathing, vomiting, and sleepiness. If a child is suspected of being exposed to the contents of a laundry pack, contact a poison control center at (800) 222-1222. Injuries have included coma, respiratory arrest, fluid entering the lungs, cardiac arrest, and death. Please be aware and protect your family.