Remember the Tide pod challenge? When teens were biting into Tide laundry detergent pods and then filming and posting those videos online? Well although the Tide pod craze has died down, sadly there are many children who are still getting very sick from ingesting laundry detergent pods. In contrast to the viral video “challenge”, these kids are actually falling ill from ingesting laundry detergent by accident.
A study from Pediatrics journal reviewed data from the National Poison Data System and found that between 2012 and 2017, there was a whopping 72,947 cases of exposure to laundry detergent by way of packets or pods. Although this number has gone down in recent years, there is still a lot of work to be done to help improve these numbers. Especially when you consider the fact that the majority of these exposures was in children under 6.
The issue with pods and packets of detergent is that in many cases they are colorful and resemble candy. Since initial numbers came about about the safety hazards of these, amny manufacturers have taken steps to address the problem by making the packages opaque, or adding warning labels. However, these measures have only made a dent in the number of exposures.
Children are curious and can get into trouble in mere moments. It’s important to keep chemicals and cleaning supplies locked up or out of reach, but in all honesty laundry detergents are frequently used and may wind up in the child’s proximity by accident. It’s unfortunate how many cases of toxic exposure are happening with these products.
In an interview with Huffington Post, Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Gary A. Smith stated that more should be done to help keep children safe. He notes, “We have safer alternatives to laundry detergent packets ― we’ve used them for decades”. He continued to state “there’s absolutely no reason why we should see children being rushed to hospitals in comas, having seizures, or even dying due to this product.”
Regardless of what product you use, it is important to remember that kids can get into trouble easily and quickly. Even the most attentive parent cannot possibly have eyes on their child at all times. For safety’s sake, keep all cleaning products, chemicals and detergents in a safe place that cannot be easily accessed by your kids.