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Poison alert: Kids ingesting colorful pods of laundry detergent
An alert from the Washington Poison Center warns parents and caregivers of toddlers about the potential dangers of children ingesting a new form of concentrated laundry detergent that comes in single-use packs, also known as "pods."
"This is a good reminder for parents," said Dr. Steven Bin, who is board certified in pediatric emergency medicine and works in the Emergency Department at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Center in Tacoma, Wash. "Common household cleaning products, including these liquid detergent packs, can be harmful to children. They should be kept out of sight and out of reach, preferably locked up."
This is especially important when the product comes in colorful packaging that can be attractive to children, according to the Mary Bridge Center for Childhood Safety. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children 14 and under. Although these tragic accidents may appear to be random, and outside our control-they tend to follow predictable patterns, and are often preventable.
If you have a question about suspected poisoning, call the Washington Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.
From the Washington Poison Center:
There is a new type of laundry detergent product on the market that appears as “single use packs” or “pods” of liquid detergent. These are pre-measured detergent packs that are surrounded by a soluble membrane that dissolves quickly when wet, in the washer or the mouth, releasing the detergent.
The pods are easily accessible in plastic bins and pretty to look at, making them attractive to toddlers. They are stated to contain 2X or 4X the strength of other liquid detergents.
A child ingesting a laundry detergent is generally not expected to develop significant problems, but there are reports of children developing peculiar neurological and respiratory difficulties after ingesting these products.
Some recent cases:
- A 7-month-old in Florida died after ingesting a laundry pod.
- The North Carolina poison center reported 2 toddlers who developed profuse vomiting and CNS depression both requiring intubation. One developed seizure-like activity. Both improved rapidly and were extubated within 24 hours.
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reported a toddler who developed somnolence, vomiting and aspiration requiring intubation, rapid improvement and extubation within 24 hours.
- Ontario Poison Centre in Toronto reported a toddler who developed profuse vomiting, increasing lethargy, wheezing and significant respiratory distress. He was noted to have posterior pharyngeal edema on intubation at the one hour mark and was extubated the next morning, still quite wheezy but CXR clear.
Posted on May 21, 2012 in Tacoma