Poison Alert: Colorful Laundry Packets

Pediatricians say parents of children younger than 6 should avoid keeping detergent packets. Children are increasingly getting their hands on colorful, toxic laundry detergent packets, which can burst when they bite into them, leading to coma, breathing failure or even death.

Researchers have found that from January 2013 to December 2014, more than 22,000 incidents resulted in calls for help after children younger than 6 were exposed to the chemicals of detergent packets – either eating them, touching them, breathing them in or getting them in their eyes. Two children died after ingesting the packets.

The study, conducted by researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and from the Central Ohio Poison Center, compared laundry packets to traditional detergent, traditional dish detergent and dish detergent packets. Researchers found laundry packets continue to cause the highest rate of accidental poisonings in children under age 6, causing more serious medical outcomes, more hospitalizations and more breathing failures.

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