The Danger of Laundry Detergent Pods

Do you use those laundry detergent pods to make laundry just a little bit easier?
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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.”

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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