New research into bright and colorful detergent pods indicates how dangerous they may be when children get sick after mistaking the detergent for candy.
The study by Nationwide Children’s Hospital found more than 17,000 children younger than six were exposed to the pods over the past two years, many either ingesting or inhaling their highly concentrated chemicals.
That comes out to one child an hour here in the United States.
Nearly 800 children had to be hospitalized, an average of one child per day.
Most children were not seriously harmed, but some of those who were hospitalized suffered seizures or burns to the eyes and skin
Some kids fell into comas and one even died last year.
“Typically we wouldn’t have thought of detergents being real serious that way,” says Dr. David Rossi, the Emergency and Trauma Center medical director at Borgess Hospital. “Now they’re really concentrated so the gastric effects can be much more serious. There have been a few cases of children that have had ingestions that had to be on life support ultimately afterwards.”
The data shows nearly half of children vomited after exposure to a laundry detergent pod.
Other common effects were coughing or choking, eye pain or irritation, drowsiness and red eye or conjunctivitis.
The researchers behind the study are now calling for a national product safety standard.
They believe safer packaging and labeling could help protect kids.
They also recommend parents of young children use traditional detergent instead of the pods, just to be safe.