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The Danger of Laundry Detergent Pods

Do you use those laundry detergent pods to make laundry just a little bit easier? Then you need to know what one mom is telling us all. Kelly Landry’s son Wyatt bit into one of those detergent pods–it’s an easy mistake for a little one, the pods are brightly colored and feel soft–and ended up being life-flighted to the hospital.

Kelly Landry shared on Facebook, “Because of [biting the pod] he had to be intubated (have a breathing tube) and life flighted from Sun Valley to Boise to be put in to the PICU. Apparently there is a certain chemical in the soap pods that create acid in the blood stream. After 2 days of IV fluids and several breathing treatments Wyatt is home.”

Kelly Landry's Son Wyatt After Eating Detergent Pods

So scary!

Wyatt isn’t alone. Detergent pods are a serious danger to children when they aren’t secured. It’s a big enough problem that Consumer Reports issued a health warning in March of 2013 calling attention to the need for child-safe packaging and adequate warnings.

“We first warned of the dangers of detergent pods in May 2012, when there had been about 700 reports to poison-control centers regarding young children. Nearly 6,300 exposures occurred in 2012 compared with more than 7,800 exposures for all conventional detergents in 2011 (last year’s totals are not yet available for those cleaners)…As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted, “Children might be attracted to pods because their colorful appearance and size are similar to candy.”

A further concern was the types of symptoms pod exposures were causing. Swallowing conventional detergent might result in mild stomach upset, but with highly concentrated detergent pods the ingestion can cause excessive vomiting, lethargy, and gasping. In some reported cases, victims stopped breathing and required ventilation support.

Late last year, we urged consumers with young children to keep detergent pods locked up and out of reach. We also called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate pods and consider stricter regulations. And we asked manufacturers to improve the safety of these products. Procter & Gamble had already said it was replacing the single-latch cover used on some its containers with a double-latch version, designed to make the packages tougher to open.” – Consumer Reports.

If you’re using laundry detergent pods make sure that they are out of reach of your little ones and secured! And don’t stop there–make sure any grandparents and caregivers also have their detergent pods in a safe place. We don’t need any more little ones injured by laundry pods. And thank you to Kelly Landry for sharing her story!

Updated November 10th 2014: NPR reported over 10,000 incidents last year involving children.

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Comments (41)

  1. Lacey 07/27/2016 at 11:01 pm

    I have used these for a long time and guess what?… my children never get near them. Why you may ask, BECAUSE I PUT THEM UP SO THEY CAN’T GET THEM!!!! Come on parents use your brains.

  2. shanny 02/27/2016 at 10:09 pm

    Bad parenting!!!! Next we will have to put gates up on streets with warning signs for all the parents who don’t watch their children and they run out onto the street. This is right up there with lazy parents who use “sippy” cups that get mold inside the lids! Use a flipping open cup and seat your child at a table or on the floor. Make them stay there until they are done their drink and then send them back to their activity. Sippy cups are for lazy parents!!!! Shut off your tv, put away your phone and be a Responsible parent!

    • Nicole 04/30/2016 at 11:10 pm

      That is an extremely harsh opinion on parents that use sippy cups. My son has swallowing difficulties and is unable to use open cups or straws because of aspiration risks. Not all parents that use them are lazy, for my son out is a sippy cup or his feeding tube and that’s it.

  3. Tyrone 02/24/2016 at 11:05 am

    It already says on the packaging to keep out of reach of children and there’s an image illustrating it as well. Why the heck should they have to put more warnings on there? Read the frickin packaging before you bring something into your house. And keep all this stuff away from your stupid kids. It’s not a hard concept to grasp. Stop expecting the world to bend and cater completely to your meat slug lizard creature. Kids are yuck.

    • Tara 02/24/2016 at 11:52 am

      I feel this is more of a parent issue then a kid issue….just saying!

    • Chouncy 02/27/2016 at 2:13 pm

      No need to call kids stupid, U STUPID DUMB BITCH

    • Stephanie 02/27/2016 at 6:28 pm

      I agree with you on that one. If you have kids in the house put them pods up. The manufacturer already puy all the warnings signs up….now its on the parents to read it. Common sense should tell you that

  4. Heidi 02/23/2016 at 10:54 am

    Is this also true for the dishwasher detergent pods?

    • Stephanie 02/27/2016 at 6:29 pm

      Is this a serious question?
      Of course it applies to them too….

      • CGreen 02/27/2016 at 10:08 pm

        Of course it’s a serious question, and it’s reasonable as well. Don’t be condescending. The article constantly specifies /laundry/ detergent pods. They should have expanded the article to include all detergent pods, but they didn’t. The article creates more questions than it answers.

  5. Andrea 02/23/2016 at 10:27 am

    I won’t use these or any of the pods in my house.
    With twin boys you never know what those two will get into so to prevent any accidents I won’t get them plus they don’t dissolve in my washer so what’s the point in bringing something like that in my house when it doesn’t work like it’s supposed to with the possibility of an accident happening.

  6. Jennifer 02/23/2016 at 7:57 am

    A patient of mine with advance dementia, had bitten a detergent pod. He had aspirated and was extremely sick, family did want aggressive treatment. He transfer to hospice

  7. Lauren 02/23/2016 at 5:42 am

    If it’s not something you want your child to have put it somewhere they can’t reach! When you have children you have to rearrange cupboards and make sure things like that are secure even if that means keeping them in the top of your wardrobe! Accidents do happen but you’re responsible for a life and you have to make sure you take preventative measures to ensure their safety.

    • Ashley 02/23/2016 at 4:35 pm

      Oh my god, THANK YOU! 95% of household goods are dangerous to children if you don’t take proper precautions and pay attention to your children. This has nothing to do with the product and everything to do with where it was stored. Great, she is sharing her story, but she is making a huge knock against a product because she was irresponsible. The product specifically says to keep out of reach of children. I’m sorry this happened, but I am not going to stop buying something because one person didn’t properly store something

      • Summer 02/24/2016 at 9:25 am

        Omg yes! Couldn’t have said it better myself. We have knives, Clorox, dish soap…this that and whatever else there is at a house for general usage…not all are kid friendly. Obviously you can’t blame the knife manufacturer for sharp edges.

        Irresponsible!

      • Juli 05/01/2016 at 2:55 pm

        I agree totally. It’s called “baby-proofing” your house people. You know you have a child who does not know the difference between things they are supposed to put in their mouths and things that will harm them. So you “baby-proof” your entire home. Put extra latches on cabinets. Put ANYTHING that could harm them (detergent pods, bug spray, cleaners, etc etc) out of their reach. Put a fence around your pool. And Most important. Keep a watchful eye on them at all times.

  8. Jen 02/23/2016 at 4:40 am

    If you don’t put them in the child’s reach, they can’t get them. I get them sometimes and set them on top of the dryer. As much of a little monkey our little girl is, she can’t get on top of it to get them. When I need one, I just get it out, drop it straight into the washer, close and start the washer, then seal thr bag or container they are in. All while I am standing right there making sure she can’t get them. I understand accidents happen, but if a little time and thought are put into things, they can be much less of a problem.

  9. LauraLea 02/22/2016 at 11:51 pm

    Anything can be dangerous to kids if you leave it where they can get to it! Just like medicine…keep out of reach of children. It’s not rocket science.

  10. Frances 02/22/2016 at 11:24 pm

    We choose not to have these harsh chemicals in our home. We were fortunate enough to come across an online wellness company that has an amazing line of cleaning products at cheaper prices than walmart! Thankful stories like these are being shared so people take note of what they are exposing their families too and hopefully seeking a safer alternative

    • Jamie 02/27/2016 at 9:48 pm

      Can u share the name of this wellness company? Tia

    • LeeBee 04/02/2016 at 8:36 am

      Are you talking about the Melaluca wellNess company. I buy all my stuff from there. Amazing.

  11. Stephen 11/17/2015 at 3:41 am

    Everything is dangerous if you’re an idiot. Do people want child-safe packing for kitchen knives as well or instead do like the rest of people and keep them in a place where young children and babies can’t get them?
    PS toilet cleaner is pretty damn poisonous too in general, I hope that there is a warning sign on the bottles telling people not to pour it in a drinking glass and give it to people cause it’s sounding like some people won’t know otherwise.

  12. Pamela 11/15/2015 at 10:30 am

    Stupid stupid stupid. If she dropped one and didn’t notice it..HER FAULT! If her toddler eats everything and she knows it, be more careful…HER FAULT! How stupid you are to blame the manufacturer and the packaging when in actually you want the entire world to make you a better mother. Can’t happen. Kids must be watched every single second of the day or the consequences of looking away could be lethal..remember it!!!

    • computerchick20 02/23/2016 at 11:36 am

      So, as a mother, according to you we should never cook dinner, never vacuum, never do anything but sit and have our eyes glued to our child. You are a special kind of stupid.

      • ProMama 02/23/2016 at 5:05 pm

        Yes. How can I have four children and never once had something so stupid happen? Ohhhhhh I pay attention.

      • ProMama 02/23/2016 at 5:08 pm

        Btw – you said it best – self defined you are … Special kind of stupid. Some people should not reproduce.

  13. Alicia Davis 11/05/2015 at 10:07 pm

    My 2 year old daughter ate on of those things back in August and we had to rush her to the ER, she was then transported by ambulance to a children’s hospital nearby. She had excessive vomiting from it, and was weezing. And we hadn’t even bought this product, it was a sample in a easy to open plastic pouch that was stuck on the back of another tide product we had bought. So they not only need to make the containers child proof, but also their samples.

  14. Cindie 08/10/2015 at 10:46 am

    Not only are they dangerous, they are expensive. I buy a brand of powdered detergent (FOCA), from Wal-Mart. It is less than $4.00 for a large bag, and as environmentally friendly as a detergent can get. All one has to do is put it in the bottom of the washer (without clothing), run a bit of hot water over it to let it melt, then set the washer for the water temperature you need, and put the clothes in. They get just as clean.

  15. Leah Segedie 07/13/2015 at 7:41 am

    We just opt not to have any cleaning products with a warning label. Makes it easier with less worry involved. Natural cleaning products are also better for you because they don’t emit toxic VOCs in the air. This is a tragedy and can happen to good and bad parents alike.

  16. brit 07/12/2015 at 10:09 am

    Hate to tell you all! But these things happen to everyone even to the best of moms. Maybe she dropped it and didn’t even notice it. SO shut y’all mouth. It’s a nice thing to know this. Kids eat everything! So why are y’all freaking out on this post. Get over yourself!!!!! Thank you for this post, it was helpful.

    • Shannon 04/30/2016 at 8:28 am

      Thank you! I was thinking that as well. Comments from this past January people are still being complete asses! We all make mistakes!

  17. RH0612 08/07/2014 at 10:02 pm

    Unfortunately for the children, their parents shouldn’t have been stupid enough to leave chemicals/soaps where the children could get to them. This did not happen by fault of the company or the product and is no reason to stop using the product. Parents need to pay more attention to where they keep things and weather or not a child might be interested in the item.

  18. BoB 08/02/2014 at 5:38 pm

    Sooooo, newsflash, don’t let your kid eat laundry detergent. Good reporting here. Next week will be the dangers of ingesting floor cleaner because it looks like grape juice, that’s if you’re not too busy leaving your kid in the car.

    • Zelda 08/06/2014 at 4:05 pm

      Thank you!! Doesn’t seem like it would take a genius to figure out to keep something a child might put in their mouth out of their reach. I hope they don’t continue to reproduce.

      • Charles 08/07/2014 at 9:00 pm

        Or let em. As George Carlin would call it, “Passive Eugenics”. The kid who eats too many marbles doesn’t get to grow up to have kids of his own. Or in this case, soap.

  19. Maureen Coffman 08/01/2014 at 9:05 am

    It is a shame this had to happen but it all boils down to the parents keeping these things away from children Hundreds of household items can kill a toddler.

  20. Chemical Industry New and Analysis 08/01/2014 at 4:46 am

    Awesome post .i hope everybody will like your post

    • Faith 06/28/2015 at 5:57 pm

      this is not an awesome post it’s a rediculous post how could someone not know to keep pods away from children?? you wouldn’t keep any other laundry soap where a child could get it so would pods be any different?

  21. Kari 07/31/2014 at 9:14 am

    Wow! I did not know this. I do not use the laundry pods nor do I have little ones, but this is definitely something that needs to be shared. Thanks.

    • Faith 06/28/2015 at 5:54 pm

      Seriously!!!!! you didn’t know laundry detergent is poison?? it would probably be best if you don’t repoduce there’s this thing it’s called common sense and anyone with any would know NOT to put a cleaning product where a child could get it

      • Julie 05/01/2016 at 3:02 pm

        Why do you people have to be so insulting. Just because someone says they didn’t know laundry detergent is poisonous you say they should not reproduce? WTF. Why are people so mean to each other. Who shit in your Cheerios?