Child's Death Spotlights Public Health Concern Over Detergent Pods
Written by Phyllis Smith
Last updated on August 18, 2013 @ 8:18PM
Created on August 18, 2013 @ 5:52PM
You've probably seen those colorful detergent packets that make it easy to do laundry on the go. While they're convenient, there's been some criticism of them because kids have swallowed them, thinking they were candy.
Apparently, the first child to die from eating one of these pods recently happened in Florida. The seven-month-old-boy was supposedly eating his second pod when his mom came back from stepping away for only a moment.
The tragedy's put a fresh spotlight on a public health risk doctors have been warning about.
About two years ago, doctors first started warning people about the danger of detergent pods. This is because they saw a concerning spike in cases of children eating them. Nearly 50% of the poisonings related to detergents were from kids eating pods. Over 90% of cases were in kids five and younger.
Brett Gustafson thought it was a terrible tragedy. He said, "It's tragic anytime a kid loses their life unnecessarily. It's so unfortunate, especially if it's preventable."
As of the end of July 2013, over 5,000 calls to pod-related exposures have been made to poison centers across the U.S., according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Harrison County resident Marsha Viglianco said, "They're brightly colored, so that does entice a child to experiment and look for it, so maybe if it was all one solid color they wouldn't be so attractive to a child."
Some companies are actually working on making the pods all one dim color to discourage kids from eating them. They're also working on making the lid harder to open by creating a double latch.
Experts said not all cases of poisoning necessarily require going to the hospital. If you suspect your child has poisoning, call the National Poison Hotline. They'll be able to connect you to a specialist that can determine if the child needs to get emergency treatment.
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