Laundry pods are a convenient way to pre-measure detergent and get clothes clean. They are growing in popularity, with millions of these pods sold in the past year. However, new studies are also indicating that these convenient pods pose a growing threat to children in households in which they are used.
Laundry Pods–A Big Problem
Brightly colored and often sweetly scented, laundry pods are enticing to small children. However, because of the concentrated nature of these laundry packets, they may be more dangerous to children than regular powdered or liquid detergent.
According to one study conducted by Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Center, at least 62,000 children under the age of six were exposed to laundry or dishwasher detergent between January 2013 and December 2014. The number was estimated from calls to poison control centers. Of these calls, about 60 percent were related to packet detergent; this number has increased by 17 percent over the past few years.
On average, poison control centers receive a call about packet detergent poisoning in children every 45 minutes, and at least one child per day in the United States is admitted to the hospital for poisoning from laundry detergent pods or packets.
Laundry Pods—Highly Toxic
Part of the problem is that not only are the packets attractive to children but they are highly concentrated and therefore highly toxic when ingested. Comas, breathing difficulties, heart trouble and death have been reported when children ingest laundry pods. Children must often be intubated or have other serious medical interventions after exposure to laundry pods.
Because laundry pods are so concentrated and highly toxic, they are much more dangerous to children than other detergents. Liquid, powder and even dishwasher pod detergent, which is a different form of soap, have fewer serious injuries or incidents than laundry pods.
Laundry Pods—Keeping Your Child Safe
The majority of poisonings with laundry pods occur when detergent is easily accessible by children. If laundry pods are kept in an unlocked cabinet, for example, or if the bucket of pods is left open during use, children can easily ingest these dangerous chemicals.
Some recommendations for keeping a child safe from laundry pod poisoning include:
- Use traditional detergent in homes where there are small children.
- Keep laundry detergent pods out of reach of children and in a locked cabinet.
- Close containers immediately after use and replace in a locked cabinet. Never leave laundry pod containers out in the open, even for a minute.
- Keep the number of the Poison Help Line handy: 1-800-222-1222. Program the number into cell phones and keep a copy by any landlines in the home.
If your child accidentally ingests any type of detergent, call the Poison Help Line or take your child to the emergency room immediately. If your child has already suffered poisoning from a detergent pod, contact a personal injury attorney at David & Philpot, P.L. to discuss your case and determine the best way to recover compensation for medical bills and the child’s pain and suffering.