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Eye Injuries In Children Linked To Liquid Laundry Packet

Update Date: Feb 03, 2017 08:10 AM EST

A growing number of eye injuries among children is reported to be linked to liquid laundry packets. Kids apparently have mistaken the colorful laundry items as toys or candy.

JAMA Ophthalmology has found out that the cases of eye injuries linked to liquid laundry packets has surged 32-fold from 2012 to 2015. Most of the victims of the chemical burns to the eye are pre-schoolers. In 2012, there were only 12 emergency room visits, but the number grew to 480 in 2015 according to the data from National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

Specifically, the ages that were affected with eye injuries are three and four years old. Those younger than three are not strong enough to open the liquid laundry packets.

However, a group from the laundry industry said that the figures presented in the report were data before a voluntary safety standard was put in place.

R. Sterling Haring, co-author of the study and a physician and researcher at Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, said that parents may not be aware that liquid laundry packets could pose a risk to the vision of the children. He told Today that the injury could be potentially "very serious." The chemicals found in liquid laundry packets are like those found in detergent pods that can cause long term, potentially permanent damage to vision.

Eye injuries in children happen when a child is playing with the liquid laundry packets and the content squirt into the eyes. Sometimes, the liquid is spilled into the hands of the children and they touch or rub it in their eyes.

Aside from eye injuries, the liquid laundry packet can potentially cause other harm to children. In 2014, a study found that every year, thousands of children have swallowed the packet and have caused coughing, choking, drowsiness and even vomiting.

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