Laundry and dishwasher detergent pod makers are being urged by doctors to improve the safety of their products after five children fell ill due to swallowing the pods. Doctors would like companies to child-proof them so that children can not easily access them and think the product is candy. It is easily mistaken for food due to their shape and bright colors.
The doctors published their recommendations in a pediatric journal and called the problem a “significant public health issue.” “Dishwasher and washing machine liquitabs are now a common finding in most homes, but unfortunately, seem very attractive to young children due to their bright colouring and soft sweetie-like texture,” also wrote the doctors in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. They have requested that companies take proactive steps to enact safety precautions, according to news reports.
There have been many cases of children under two who sustained injury due to the detergent pods, resulting in increased alarm amongst parents and doctors. Five children who were admitted to a hospital in Scotland due to an airway blockage. The upsurge in cases occurred within a span of 18 months. The youngest child was 10-months-old, while the older was two and treated using antibiotics and steroids. Swelling and ulceration in the patients were treated by placing them on a ventiators for a few days. Surgery was required for one of the children, and they all recovered.
The detergent pod industry is growing at an extremely fast rate, so many are concerned the products are safe. Tide added a lid that double-latched on plastic tubs so they would be more difficult to open by a child. Since the start of the year, 2,950 calls have been made regarding incidents involving children who encountered a detergent pod. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has helped efforts to investigate the products and make sure the pods are made properly child-proof. They advise keeping detergents out of reach of children, and if a child were to swallow a detergent pod, a caretaker must call the poison-control hotline immediately via 800-222-1222 in order to treat the problem.
As a personal injury attorney, I hope nobody is harmed in any way by a detergent pod. I highly advise keeping them far away from children in an area that could not possible be reached. Storing them high enough out of the way or in a locked cabinet would help prevent a child from gaining access to them.