Forget that bowl of dry dog food in the corner or the chemicals locked away beneath your kitchen sink. There’s a new tantalizingly off-limits product that children everywhere are attempting to shove into their mouths in those few seconds you dare to step out of their sight to pee with the door open.
It’s something that may make your life a little easier, but when consumed by a treat-seeking toddler packs a punch so potent it could end with an extended hospital stay.
If you’re like me, someone who hates doing laundry so much you’ll wear your bathing suit top as a bra before finally being forced to toss a load in the washer, you’ve probably already been using those little, brightly colored, detergent packs for months now. I love them because I can toss one in and walk away. No measuring. No messy powders.
Unfortunately, to some children those colorful pods look positively scrumptious. So far this year, 250 cases of children ingesting detergent packets have been reported to poison control centers around the country. Parents of the children say that their tots experience nausea, lethargy, coughing and trouble breathing.
A couple of children have been hospitalized for as long as a week and have spent time on a ventilator after swallowing the product. Doctors are concerned because eating one of these packets is the equivalent of drinking a cup of laundry detergent.
“The children get sicker, more severe, and they do this quicker than what we’ve seen with standard liquid laundry exposure,” Dr. Michael Buehler of the Carolinas Poison Center told Fox News.
Poison control centers across the country are issuing warnings to parents to keep the laundry detergent pods out of the reach of children. The pods have been available in Europe for some time now and have only recently made it to the American market.
Thankfully, no children have died from swallowing them, but this does serve as a reminder to place your fancy detergent packets a little higher on the laundry room shelf.
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