One of the latest dangers parents need to understand is the allure of Tide detergent packets to kids. There have been reports of poisoning, but not death, of children who swallow these candy-like packages. Fortunately, Tide has pledged to remedy the situation, but until that happens, there will be many of these dangerous products in households across the country.
The story was recently detailed in an article at Philly.com. Here are excerpts:
Miniature laundry detergent packets arrived on store shelves in recent months as an alternative to bulky bottles. But doctors across the country say children are confusing the tiny, brightly colored packets with candy and swallowing them.
Nearly 250 cases have been reported this year to poison-control centers. Though they remain a tiny fraction of the thousands of poisoning calls received every year, doctors are concerned. The symptoms they see in connection with ingesting the packets – such as nausea and breathing problems – are more severe than typical detergent poisoning. No deaths have been reported.
“We’re not quite sure why it’s happening,” said Kurt Kleinschmidt, a toxicologist and professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “But we’ve clearly had some kids who have become much more ill. We look at these pods as being clearly more dangerous than the standard detergent.”
Tide, Purex, and other detergent manufacturers introduced versions of the packets earlier this year. The lightweight, colorfully swirled plastic packets contain a single-use amount of detergent.
Several poison-control centers started to get calls about the packets in March and April. Texas reported 71 instances of exposure this year, all but one in March or later.