Detergent pods or capsules have been associated with a range of adverse reactions in children including poisoning and choking incidents. Part of the issues of the pods is that they look like sweets and are very attractive to children. The American Institute of Poison Control Centres figures indicate that more than 6200 young children under 5 years of age were taken to hospitals in 2012 in the United States after attempting to eat the dangerous detergent pods.
The problem with these little pods is that they are very concentrated, so the detergent is a smaller amount but more concentrated. If a child takes it, chews it or bites into it, they get a concentrated dose of the detergent.
Manufacturers have begun discussions with the American Academy of Pediatrics to educate parents and physicians about the safety of the colorful detergent pods. Proctor and Gamble also changed its packaging to make the pods look less like sweets and make it more difficult for small hands to open.
The pods are anything but, and contain strong alkaline cleaning chemicals that can devastate tissue and lead to serious swelling. Children who have swallowed the pods have experienced serious illness, including excessive vomiting, wheezing, and gasping and some have been hospitalised.
Detergent pods are usually packaged as one-inch cubes and contain the equivalent of a cup of laundry detergent. The pods are dropped into washing machines and are meant to cut down laundry prep time, and take less space than traditional laundry cleansers. Speaking about the risks of detergent pods, Liam Moloney, Product Liability Solicitor, Naas, said today
“these products should not be used in homes with young children. If used, they should be kept locked away, up high, and out of the reach of curious children”.