July 16, 2015 — Consumer Reports will no longer recommend using laundry pods because they are a “serious hazard for young children.”
Consumer Reports was one of the first organizations to call on manufacturers to change the product design — adding child-resistant lids, prominent warning labels, and making the containers opaque, for example. Despite these changes, poisonings continue to occur.
According to the recommendation:
“We strongly urge households where children younger than 6 are ever present to skip them altogether; our new position doesn’t apply to laundry (or dishwasher) pods that contain powder, because injuries associated with them are less frequent and less severe.”
Every day, approximately 30 children are poisoned due to eating laundry detergent pods, according to a report by Safe Kids Worldwide.
Young children naturally explore their environment. Laundry detergent pods are irresistibly squishy, sweet-smelling, and candy-sized. The problem is that unlike normal laundry detergent, the pods contain highly-concentrated chemicals that are much more powerful and dangerous when they are swallowed or squirted into a child’s eye.
Consumer Reports put laundry pods in a pile of candy and toys to illustrate how they are nearly indistinguishable. The group also highlighted the case of an 8 month-old girl who bit into a laundry pod and started wheezing, gagging, and vomiting. She was hospitalized and survived, but others were not so lucky. At least two children have died after ingesting a pod.
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