Laundry packet poisoning affects thousands of kids nationwide

Numerous small children across the country are mistaking laundry detergent pods as candy and have been poisoned as a result.

Many parents in San Francisco and across the country take drastic measures when it comes to child-proofing their homes. Parents install safety gates, block electrical outlets and keep heavy objects out of their kids’ reach in order to ensure their homes are safe. What many people don’t know, however, is that common household items can pose a serious threat to children. In some cases, seemingly harmless items can inflict serious injuries and even kill unsuspecting children. Laundry detergent soap pods are one of these dangerous items, and parents are being warned to keep them away from their babies and small children.

Approximately 17,230 kids 6-years-old and younger have been poisoned by detergent pods over a one-year period, according to a study published in Pediatrics. These clear packets contain colorful liquid and powder laundry detergent, which a number of children have mistaken as candy. Once a child places the pod in his or her mouth or pokes a finger through the thin clear membrane, he or she is immediately exposed to toxic chemicals. Children can ingest the detergent, squirt it in their eyes, inhale detergent powder or even suffer from topical burns on their skin. Sadly, some children have died as a result.

Serious consequences

USA Today reported that the poisoning problem associated with laundry detergent packets is only getting worse. During the first six months of 2015, poison control centers across the country logged over 6,000 calls involving children becoming seriously ill from detergent packets. This is a significant increase from the 10,877 calls that were recorded in 2013. Once exposed to the chemicals, kids may experience side effects ranging from nausea and vomiting to respiratory distress, seizures and even comas. If the detergent gets into the eyes, victims may temporarily lose their vision.

What is being done?

Due to the dangers and risks linked to laundry detergent packets, consumer reports has stopped recommending the use of these products in homes with small children. The organization has also asked laundry detergent manufacturers to take the steps necessary to reduce the risk of child poisoning. One laundry pod manufacturer has enhanced their product packaging to include a snap lock mechanism, making it difficult for small children to open. Researchers also suggest that by making the outside packaging opaque rather than clear, children won’t be able to see the colorful packets inside.

Getting legal assistance

When people purchase products from the store, they expect those products to be safe. If you or someone in your family have suffered an injury due to a defective product, you may want to speak to an attorney in California regarding your legal rights and options. A lawyer may be able to help answer your questions and point you in the right direction when it comes to getting compensation for your case.

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