If your child comes in contact with the liquid from a laundry pod, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately. A 2014 report found they seriously sickened more than 700 US children during a two-year period.
“We recognize the role parents and caregivers play in keeping children safe, but we believe the unique risks posed by liquid laundry pods warrant this action, at least until the adoption of tougher safety measures leads to a meaningful drop in injuries”.
In the first six months of this year, poison-control centers received more than 6,000 reports of young children ingesting the pods or getting them in their eyes or on their skin.
Jeanie Jaramillo, PharmD, managing director of the Texas Panhandle Poison Center told HealthDay, “They [pods] are also soft and pliable, so kids may find that they are fun to squeeze or play with”.
These staggering numbers follow the Consumer Reports news that they will no longer be recommending Laundry Pods for parents to use.
To be safe, Consumer Reports suggests to keep any kind of detergent and other harmful chemicals away from children. The industry responded by developing child-resistant safety latches for their packaging, and by eliminating clear plastic exteriors, which had previously shown the brightly colored detergent packets.
The full report, along with Consumer Reports’ latest Ratings of laundry detergents, is available online at ConsumerReports.org and in the September 2015 issue of Consumer Reports magazine. It generally causes only mild stomach upsets if it is ingested, the AAPPC says.
Children who have swallowed the liquid have experienced vomiting, lethargy, and delirium.
The nonprofit organization, which rates a wide variety of consumer products for safety and reliability, also urged that the convenient laundry aids be avoided altogether in homes where children younger than 6 years of age live or ever visit.
The warning does not apply to laundry (or dishwasher) pods that contain powder, because injuries associated with those are not as frequent nor as severe. One death was reported along with a number of side effects ranging from more than 100 children needing tracheal intubation to respiratory arrest, corneal abrasion and ocular burns. The poison control group recommends the pods be locked up and placed high out of reach when they are not being used.