A 7-month-old boy died after eating a laundry detergent packet in Kissimmee last week — highlighting the dangers poison-control officials have been warning of for more than a year as the products have become wildly popular among consumers.
If confirmed, his could be the first reported death in the nation tied to the detergent packets, though so far this year alone, more than 5,000 children have been sickened by them, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
According to the CDC, the symptoms seen after ingestion of these super-convenient “pods” include vomiting, mental status changes, and breathing difficulties:
Laundry detergent pods are single-load capsules that contain concentrated liquid detergent within a water-soluble membrane that dissolves when in contact with moisture (1). Laundry detergent pods were introduced in the U.S. market in 2010, and multiple manufacturers now sell laundry detergent packaged in pods
These new laundry packets dissolve in the washing machine. Because they are colorful and squishy, they are attractive to children. They can look like candy or something fun to play with. But some young children who have put these small packets into their mouths and swallowed some of the detergent have become very ill and have been hospitalized. Others have gotten it into their eyes, causing severe irritation.