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Laundry Detergent Packets Are Now Health Risks To Kids

Update Date: Apr 26, 2016 05:45 AM EDT

In this modern age, most of us use cleaners or detergents with the intent of cleaning and washing clothes and possibly our surroundings. These are chemical-based solutions and that alone should alert many to be more cautious when it comes to storing them in the right places.

Most of the time, elders would make it a point to keep them out of reach of kids to avoid unfortunate episodes like perhaps kids accidentally consuming them. It is a fact that most kids are unaware of the dangers that lurk with these packets, consumption of which may lead to dire consequences.

Right now, it seems the level of awareness that chemical-backed detergents is lacking for the elders out there. A recent study published in Pediatrics showed an alarming 17% rise in calls made to the US poison control centers tied up with accidental exposures to laundry detergent packets.

The study covered kids exposed to such from 2013 and 2014, laundry detergent packets singled out as the one causing the greatest toxicity as revealed by lead author Dr. Gary Smith. Smith is the director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The study arrived at after analyzing more than 62,000 calls made to the US poison control center. The data included unintentional exposures to laundry or dishwasher detergents among children starting at age 6 but the greatest jump was seen in laundry detergent packs which was about 14 %.

Liquid detergent packets were seen as more alarming over the granule-formed ones, resulting in 17 comas, 6 cases of respiratory arrest, 4 cases of pulmonary edema, and 2 cases of cardiac arrest.

Two deaths were also reported as a result of the ingestion of laundry detergent packs.

For those who are unaware, liquid laundry detergent packets are also known as ‘pods. The are the thin, dissolvable packets containing highly concentrated laundry soap and usually enclosed in a water-soluble membrane that dissolves quickly in any temperature.

With these facts, Smith believes that the study should be sufficient to convince most to stick to traditional laundry over packets. However, the responsibility of keeping them out of child’s reach is still a must with the detergents technically still poisonous.

"They should be kept up away and out of sight of children and preferably in a locked cabinet," Smith said, "because really the time it takes you to pick up a pair of dirty socks and throw them into the laundry is all it's going to take for a child to put one of these in their mouth, bite down, and have it squirt down their throat."

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