Children at Risk for Poisoning from Laundry Detergent Pods

A popular household item in recent years, laundry detergent pods offer convenience for doing laundry at home. The colorful pods are an easy way to grab the exact amount of detergent you need for a load of laundry. Unfortunately, those bright and colorful pods are also beacons for attention for small children. The pods have sent almost 10,000 young children to the emergency room this year, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a consumer products safety group. While their were an additional 25,000 emergency room visits related to traditional laundry detergents, the pods lead to more serious injuries and hospitalizations.

It is speculated that the severity of the injuries is related to the high level of detergent in the pods, in comparison to regular detergent. Additionally, the majority of the hospital visits from pods were children aged 5 and under. Another cause of the severity is that so many pod-related injuries are poisonings, while many injuries related to detergent are typically skin rashes. This seems to suggest that the bright colored pods are seen as candy by the young children, and are ingested at a more frequent rate than traditional laundry detergent.

Consumer Reports has already removed the pods from their recommended laundry detergents list, and warns parents of the dangers. Researchers have suggested some improvements to the pods such as a tougher outer lining and a less colorful look.

Laundry detergent pods are undoubtedly convenient. However, if you are in a home with small children you should stick with traditional laundry detergents, and you should always keep your household chemicals in a secure location inaccessible to children.

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