Rising number of "pod" detergent consumption among panhandle children

Rising number of "pod" detergent consumption among panhandle children
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - An increase in children consuming a popular item is causing alarm for area poison control officials.

We've told you about them time and time again. But Laundry and dish washing detergent packets, also known as "pods" are a growing safety issue for children, especially considering the rise in incidents...some that have even led to death.

We live in a world of convenience.

But convenience continues to be the choice over a child's health. There is a rise in children consuming laundry and dish washing detergent pods, despite warnings on the products.

The first three months of this year came with 3,000 calls to Poison Control centers.

"Our numbers locally do coincide with what we see here locally, nationwide," says Ronica Farrar with the Texas Panhandle Poison Center. "We're seeing an increase in the number of calls and we believe that is tied to an increase in usage. So what people need to remember is that, do not leave these pods out and accessible for even one minute."

Farrar says packaging is a major issue with these pods.

With bright colors and squishy texture, children are more likely to play with them and mistake them for something edible. A standard has been recommended for companies to make the exterior of the pods bitter to drive children away, however Farrar says this is not enough.

"Manufacturers might consider maybe putting the little pods themselves inside the resistant packaging much like individually packed pills are where you have to use some scissors or something to get into that package so that children can't just touch them and put them in their mouth. The outsides of those pods are made to dissolve with moisture."

Children who have consumed these pods have experienced nausea and vomiting, respiratory problems and even death, as they explode with water and it gets into their lungs.

"We continue to see a ride in calls and a rise in usage of these products, so we know they're here to stay. People like them, they're convenient. So they're going to continue to buy the, they're going to continue to use the. So we need to make sure that people really understand how dangerous they are and that they need to take extra special precautions to keep them out of the reach of children," says Farrar.

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