Hundreds of children have ingested detergent pods, causing them to become very ill. Photo via Tide.com.
Miniature laundry detergent packages may be a great alternative to those bulky containers and a way to avoid messy spills. But, lately the products convenience has been trumpeted by the health hazard it has posed on young children.
According to poison control centers nationwide, there has been nearly 250 reported cases this year of children ingesting the brightly colored detergent pods and suffering symptoms ranging from nausea to difficulty breathing. In severe cases, children as young as 15 months old had to be hospitalized and put on a ventilator.
“We’re not quite sure why it’s happening,” said Dr. Kurt Kleinschmidt, a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “But we’ve clearly had some kids who have become much more ill. We look at these pods as being clearly more dangerous than the standard detergent.”
Children’s attraction to the detergent packages may lie in the fact that its size and colorful packaging resembles that of candy.
“If you look at the Tide Pods, they’re bright blue and bright red and they look very similar to some of the ribbon candy,” said Julie Weber, director of the Missouri Poison Control Center in St. Louis.
The maker of Tide pods, Procter & Gamble, has responded to the health concern not by planning to change its products appearance but rather how easily accessible it will be to children. The company will create a double latch lid to make it more difficult for children to open the container containing the detergent pods. The new design will be available in stores this July.
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