Laundry detergent “pods” poisoning kids
Brightly colored pouches that look more like jell-o packs than laundry detergent are so attractive to young children that they've become a poison risk.
Researchers from Ohio State University and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus found that in just one year, 17,230 calls were made reporting a child’s exposure to laundry-pod chemicals. Out of this number, more than 750 children were hospitalized and one incident was fatal. Researchers calculated that this means that about one child every hour is coming in contact with the harmful detergents.
The team collected a year’s worth of data from the National Poison Data System and looked at cases that occurred with children younger than six years old.
As expected, just under 80 percent of the poisonings were because the child ate or drank the cleaner. This most common poisonings happened in toddlers between one and two years old. Of the 904 cases studied, about one-third occurred when the laundry pod was in the child’s sight and easy to reach. Most of the cases were due to improper storage and caregiver distraction.
Researchers say this study calls for “improvements in product packaging and labeling,” as well as improvements to a “product safety standard and public education.”