Children Across the U.S. Harmed by Detergent Pods

Children Across the U.S. Harmed by Detergent Pods

Attractive Packaging May Make Detergent Pods More Dangerous

Seemingly harmless and fantastically convenient at first glance, detergent pods may in fact generate more danger than meets the eye. A recent study of data from Poison Control Centers from 2012 through 2013 suggests that the attractive and inconspicuous packaging of the pods may draw children to them.

The study found that throughout the two years observed, there were 17,230 poison center calls regarding young children and the detergent pods. 769 of those children were hospitalized. While most of the children, all under the age of six, were not seriously harmed, one child did die last year from complications involving the household cleaning supply. Some children suffered burns or irritation to the skin after bursting the pods open, but other, more severe cases, involved more serious complications after ingesting the product.

According to the study, 144 children had eye injuries, 30 children went into comas and 12 children had seizures as a result of poisoning from laundry detergent pods. A story by WRAL points us that while regular laundry detergent may cause mild stomach aches or problems if swallowed, poison center experts "say the new concentrated laundry packets seem to cause more severe problems."

But, Why Are Children Attracted to These?

Some researchers believe that attractive and discreet packaging somewhat masks these products, causing them to be easily mistaken for candy or toys. In fact, according to WRAL, one child's great grandmother mistook one of the pods for a teething toy and gave it to the 9-month-old intentionally.

Bright and colorful packaging may be to blame for children getting into the detergent pods, but a lack of instructional labeling for parents may also be a factor to consider. In fact, in March, the American Cleaning Institute, which represents makers of cleaning products, encouraged manufacturers to create more prominent safe-handling labels for the products, and parents to take a pledge for laundry room safety. While the guidelines were voluntary, some manufacturers had already revised their packaging. The study found that calls to poison control centers dipped slightly after revisions from manufacturers.

Child Safety & Products Liability Lawyer, Raleigh NC

At the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood in North Carolina, we encourage parents to always take precautions when using household cleaners in a home with young children. Should your child be harmed by a household product that you feel is not properly labeled, or has insufficient safety instructions, call on the experienced professionals at Law Office of D. Hardison Wood. We are happy to help you understand and earn your rights.


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