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Detergent Pods: A Serious Safety Hazard Printer friendly format

By Caitlin Bootsma
Consultant to the VIRTUS® Programs

paramedics rushing with a gurneyRisks to our children’s safety come in many shapes and sizes. As parents and caring adults, inappropriate adult conduct is not the only risk to watch for; we must also create safe environments to protect our children from other risks. And while we certainly can’t prevent our children from encountering every potential danger, there are a few no-brainer risks to remove from our homes.

According to a recent study published in Pediatrics, laundry detergent pods (as well as dishwasher pods) are one thing that we should strongly consider avoiding.

Studies show that 17,000 children under the age of six came into contact with these pods (mostly by ingestion) during 2012 and 2013. Out of that number, 750 kids had to be hospitalized.

While they may be more convenient than conventional detergents, these pods are far more concentrated and, therefore, much more toxic. Of the children affected, 70 percent were under the age of three. 

It’s easy to see why a child would be interested. Toddlers and babies are attracted to a bright liquid detergent pod tempting them to bite it to see if it is candy or juice. The Wall Street Journal reports when this happens, the tight packaging bursts, forcing the liquid down the child’s throat, often with disastrous results.

Some manufacturers are trying to make their packaging safer, but in the meantime, this is one hazard parents can easily avoid. Consider sticking with traditional detergent, to avoid one proven danger to your children.


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