Warning! Don’t Eat The Poisonous Detergent Pods!

Have you seen those new detergent pods?

They are small, brightly colored, and children have been eating them because of their bite-size shape, and candy-like colors. Yum!

As a result, childhood poisonings from these new detergent packets have soared in recent weeks, with the total climbing to more than 1,200 this week from about 200 in late May.

The detergent packets were introduced by various companies over the winter as a convenience that can be easily dropped into a washing machine. This is puzzling to me. Do you find it especially difficult to pour liquid in a cup, and then into your washing machine?

The New York Times reports that health authorities have been concerned since late March, when poison control centers around the country noted a small number of reports from parents whose children had opened and swallowed the brightly colored laundry detergent products.

Poison control centers first starting putting out alerts about two to three months ago, not long after the products were introduced in the United States. By late May, the number of reported cases had reached 200 to 250 nationwide, prompting widespread news media attention and an announcement from Tide, which makes one of the most popular forms of the products, that the company would change its packaging to make the packets more difficult for children to tamper with.

Still, poison control centers say they continue to see more and more cases. This week, the California Poison Control System announced that at least nine small children in that state were taken to emergency rooms between Saturday and Tuesday after exposure to the packets, bringing the state’s total number of cases to at least 91. Six of the latest cases in California involved Tide Pods. Two were linked to Purex Ultra Packs, and one involved All Mighty Paks.

So far this year, there have been at least 1,210 cases reported to poison control centers in the U.S. Thankfully, no child has died, but at least 11 children have been placed on ventilators, and 10 have been intubated.

And the solution?

From Jezebel:

Bruce Ruck, who is the assistant director of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System, says the way to avoid kids getting poisoned is to hide the packets: “Put them up very high in a locked cabinet. You don’t want to store these on top of the washing machine or dryer, because kids will stand on chairs to get stuff.”

How about detergent companies just stop making these brightly-colored pods?

What do you think?

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Photo Credit: old.curmudgeon

112 comments

Victoria P
Victoria P4 months ago

Thank you

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Pat B.
Pat B6 years ago

The world is full of things that will kill you if you eat them both inside and outside the home. Who's going to be responsible for keeping your kids safe from them? We've already gone to ridiculous lengths to protect children from even the tiniest injury from the kinds of accidents that used to be part of the everyday life of children. Now, instead of taking responsibility for teaching their children not to eat things that aren't food and keeping those items out of reach of the ones too young to understand. Come on people, if you don't want to teach your kids rules DON'T HAVE THEM. There are far too many kids growing up with irresponsible parents who want to leave their safety to someone else.

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Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson6 years ago

it's up to the parents to look out for their children. would drinking bleach or dish soap or draino be any better? no. we simply can't out law or stop selling every thing that is not safe to eat. kids have to be taught that cleaning supplies aren't food. and until they are taught that, parents are responsible and have to learn to keep anything poisonous out of reach

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Erin Delancy-Hummer
Erin Hummer6 years ago

How about parents being more responsible???? Put them out of reach or lock them up. I love the pods. Throw one in and done!!!!!

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Howard C.
.6 years ago

We have had these 'pods' in the UK for a couple of years and I must say that I haven't heard of any children trying to eat one, surely the content would taste so awful that it would put anyone off, besides manufacturers can add a product which makes such things taste horribly bitter. Such 'convenient' products are simply a way of charging far more for a product, this is sold to those who have little spare time - maybe they have so little time because they are working long hours in order to pay for expensive labour saving products!

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Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

My daughter hadn't heard this story and when talking to her on the phone tonight, the topic came up and she wondered (as I did) about the excessive packaging, agrees that it is just common sense to put such things out of reach of kids, but then kids will still BE kids and get into things. We can't always keep absolutely EVERYTHING out of reach 100% of the time. Even if put up 8' on a shelf (above the washer, for example), a determined kid will still get it. However, she also brought up a great point about WHY the colorful packaging and candy-like colors, even if marketed to adults? Do women stand around admiring their detergent packets or the automatic dishwasher packets (pods)? Sounds like "fodder" for a Steven Colbert parady or a SNL skit. Why not put them in BLACK "pods"?

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Nicola Pole
Erica S6 years ago

The products and companies should not be punished for the parents' stupidity. The colors are meant to catch the eye of all people, they're not targeting children.
If you have children, you put chemicals where they cannot reach or get access to. It's not rocket science. If they can get to one chemical, then they can probably get to the rest. The solution to the problem is common sense.

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Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley6 years ago

how about people actually put things up where they belong and where KIDS CAN'T REACH THEM.

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Prentise W.
pre,tpse w6 years ago

I thought this was joke about a poorly written or translated foreign label -- I've seen some weird ones, such as "don't eat the packaging."

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Dawn D.
Dawn D.6 years ago

"The detergent packets were introduced by various companies over the winter as a convenience that can be easily dropped into a washing machine. This is puzzling to me. Do you find it especially difficult to pour liquid in a cup, and then into your washing machine?"

Wow, parents not watching their children. This is puzzling to me. Do you find it especially difficult to put dangerous chemicals out of reach of children, or installing child locks where they can't reach it??? Or even better - DON'T BUY THEM FOR YOUR HOUSE! How is this hard??? I don't even have kids and I know this! If this is any indication of how incompetent parents are today, then I'm scared for children.

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