Rise in Kids Eating Laundry Detergent Pods
Rise in Kids Eating Laundry Detergent Pods
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Sweet-smelling and colorful, but toxic, single-use laundry detergent packs or “pods” are causing a rising rate of poisoning in kids who confuse them for candy.

All of the latest childhood poisonings required emergency evaluation and treatment, with six of them linked to Tide Pods, two to Purex Ultra Packs, and one to All Mighty Paks. So far, no deaths have been reported, but nationally, a number of kids have required hospitalization—sometimes on ventilators—for several days after eating detergent pods.

All of those kids are now out of the hospital, with no long-term health problems or complications reported. Typically their symptoms cleared up in one week or less. Other pod-poisoning cases were successfully treated at home, with the parents following advice from poison control centers, or the kids were evaluated and treated in emergency rooms without the need for a hospital stay.

Specifically, the four frightening effects of biting into the miniature packets (according to CPCS) are:
  • significant nausea and vomiting
  • respiratory distress, in many cases requiring ventilators temporarily
  • eye injuries occurring as a child bites into the pod and gets the product in his or her eyes
  • metabolic abnormalities—doctors are not sure why, but the pods may be more toxic than standard powder.
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