Many Americans have busy lifestyles and are grateful for any product that can shave minutes from our daily routines. In recent years, laundry detergent pods have become increasingly popular because they make washing our clothes more convenient. However, a number of children have confused these pods with candy or toys and have suffered serious and potentially fatal health issues after ingesting the concentrated detergent. A new study published this week in the journal Pediatrics sheds light on the risks of laundry detergent pod poisoning.
In the study, researchers from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital relied on data from the National Poison Data System to investigate the dangers children face after ingesting laundry detergent. Through this research, study authors identified more than 17,230 children under the age of six who were hospitalized for the effects of laundry detergent poisoning between 2012 and 2013 alone. The vast majority of these cases involved children who were younger than two years old.
Laundry detergent pods, sometimes known as capsules, are brightly colored plastic sacks which contain concentrated amounts of detergent and are meant to dissolve in washing machines. In some cases, children confuse these pods for chew toys or for candy, and the dissolvable casing makes them easy for even the youngest children to ingest the liquid inside.
According to study co-author Dr. Marcel J. Casavant, “Laundry detergent pods are small, colorful, and may look like candy or juice to a young child. It can take just a few seconds for children to grab them, break them open, and swallow the toxic chemicals they contain, or get the chemicals in their eyes.”
While researchers found that the most common side effect of laundry pod poisoning is vomiting (48% of incidents), choking, vision problems, respiratory difficulties, and other serious health threats were reported.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned the public about the risk oflaundry detergent pod poisoning in 2012, and some makers of these products took steps to diminish their appeal to children and make them safer. Still, children continue to be poisoned, and the Pediatrics study authors caution parents to make sure detergent pods aren’t accessible to young children.
If your child became ill after ingesting the contents of a laundry detergent pod, a product liability lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation for medical expenses and other damages. To learn more about laundry pod lawsuits, contact an experienced attorney for a legal consultation.