Consumer Reports is no longer backing laundry detergent pods, as these are a safety hazard for children under the age of six.
This is a rather predictable issue, because laundry detergent pods are extremely attractive to children because the liquid detergent is manufactured in vibrant colors and it looks like some sort of delicious cream or candy.
The kids are initially attracted by the colors and then, they are intrigued by their squishy texture. In order to analyze this amazing new toy or treat that they have found, kids usually put them in their mouths, since this is their best developed analysis method at that particular age.
This is actually one of the reasons why the age limit was set at 6. When the kids put the detergent pods in their mouths, their packaging usually breaks, because it is meant to decompose easily inside the washing machine. And when the children swallow the detergent, they can get pretty heavily intoxicated.
Detergent pods contain a very concentrated washing solution, so that one small pod can be used to wash the entire laundry load. This is why the chemicals that they include are much more potent than those in regular laundry detergent, whether in liquid or powder form.
When the pods break in the children’s mouths, unfortunately they end up swallowing quite a large quantity of concentrated detergent. This leads lo life threatening issues and even death, if the children are not transported to the hospital in due time.
A team of doctors from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital have decided to look closer into the matter, since they had seen a large number of cases in the last years. When looking at the specifics, the doctors found 17,000 cases of this type of detergent poisoning in children and realized that this pattern is a serious safety hazard for children.
This is why they are advising people who have children under the age of six in their homes to opt for classic detergent instead of pods, because they are much safer. Also, all detergents and cleaning products should be kept in a safe place that is both out of sight and out of reach for the children. They recommend a locked cabinet or drawer, so that children cannot open it even if they try.
Doctors strongly advise parents to have the phone number for the Poison Help Line (1-800-222-1222) in their phones, both landlines and cell phones, and also in a very visible place in the house, such as the fridge, so that they be ready to act in the event that they are confronted with such an occurrence.
“The bottom line is, we need a new, voluntary safety standard for these products before any more children get hurt,” clearly points out Dr. Gary Smith.
However dangerous detergent pods might be to children, the most important means of preventing these situations is to keep small children properly supervised and to make sure that the space where they spend their time does not offer them access to dangerous chemicals or other hazardous items, that might put their lives in danger.
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