Experts warn laundry detergent packs pose danger to children

ABC World News reported on laundry detergent packs: “Children, who see those bite-sized packets of laundry detergent and think they’re candy. They eat them, get sick. It’s happening more than we knew. A new report finds that in a 30-day period, more than 1,000 children were sickened from those candy-colored packets. It is now being called an emerging public health hazard.”

NPR reports in its “Shots” blog that researchers “from two poison control centers and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have analyzed more than a thousand incidents involving people exposed to the pods and other kinds of laundry detergent.” According to the blog, “the vast majority of the reports, which were collected by poison control centers around the country in May and June, involved kids 5 and under.”

Researchers found “864 kids that age were exposed to the detergents, mostly by eating them.” The findings were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

HealthDay reports CDC researchers found that “detergent pods caused side effects in 76 percent of the children who swallowed them, compared with 27 percent among children who ingested other, less concentrated laundry products.”

According to the article, Dr. Jose Rosa-Olivares, medical director of the Pediatric Care Center at Miami Children’s Hospital, said that “when swallowed, the concentrated cleaning chemicals inside the packets can cause a variety of side effects, from minor stomach or breathing problems to ‘significant symptoms that can be life-threatening.'” Rosa-Olivares said that “if a child does swallow one of these pods, the first thing to do is call the local poison-control center and follow whatever instructions are given,” HealthDay adds.

Enter your email to subscribe to Dr. Walt's blogs.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Dr. Walt Larimore will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.