Laundry detergent pods pose poisoning risk for kids

Detergent pods pose serious threat to children's health, a study has said.

Washington: Detergent pods pose serious threat to children's health, a study has said.

Researchers have recommended using traditional detergents in the households with children.

"Laundry detergent pods are small, colourful, and may look like candy or juice to a child," said Marcel J. Casavant, chief of toxicology at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus.

"It can take just a few seconds for children to grab them, break them open, and swallow the toxic chemicals they contain, or get the chemicals in their eyes," Casavant noted.

Between 2012 and 2013, the US poison control centres received reports of 17,230 under six-year-old children swallowing, inhaling, or otherwise being exposed to chemicals in laundry detergent pods, the study said.

At least 769 children were hospitalised during that period, an average of one per day and one died.

Around half (48 percent) of the children vomited after laundry detergent pod exposure.

Other common effects were coughing or choking (13 percent of cases), eye pain or irritation (11 percent), drowsiness or lethargy (seven percent) and red eye or conjunctivitis (seven percent), showed the study.

"It is not clear that any laundry detergent pods currently available are truly child resistant. A national safety standard is needed to make sure that all pod makers adopt safer packaging and labelling," said Gary Smith, director, Centre for Injury Research and Policy.

Parents should use traditional detergent instead of detergent pods, which is much less toxic than laundry detergent pods, suggested Smith.