Doctors: Lock up laundry pods to prevent hazard for toddlers

Doctors: Lock up laundry pods to prevent hazard for toddlers

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Doctors are issuing a warning about laundry pods, the convenient packets that contain concentrated laundry detergent.

Experts say while they are convenient when you are washing your dirty clothes, the pods can pose a danger to young children, and need to be stored out of reach.

When young children see the brightly colored pods, they often put them in their mouths.

According to a new study, a toxic child exposure to laundry packets is reported about every 45 minutes.

The study, released Monday morning in the journal Pediatrics, showed in 2013-14, there were more than 22,000 incidents in children younger than six, representing an increase of 17 percent over previously reports.

The pods are often stored under the sink where toddlers can find them and are sold in bulk, MUSC Dr. Scott Russell said.

"The pods are filled with caustics that can cause a relatively significant amount of GI distress that leads to vomiting and concern for esophageal injury and stricture," Russell said.

The study compared the laundry packets to traditional laundry detergent, traditional dish detergent and dish detergent packets.

Researchers found the laundry packets continue to cause the highest rate of accidental poisonings in children under the age of six.

The authors concluded the increase in childhood exposures to laundry detergent packets shows a need for new national safety standards.

"They certainly need to be locked up and/or kept out of the reach of children," Russell said.

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