July 10, 2015

Laundry Pods A Danger To Children

(KMEG TV)  SIOUX CITY, IA - Single use laundry packs are known for their convenience, but are also becoming a serious problem throughout the nation.

At least seven deaths have been reported since they became widely available to the public three years ago, and 11,714 exposures were reported to poison centers in 2014 that involved children under six.

Why these soaps seem to cause more harm than regular detergents is still a mystery. But one that a local Iowa Poison Control Center is taking active measures to solve.

Dr. Ed Bottei and staff pharmacist Kimberly Zellmer, began their study in March.

"Our study consisted of two parts: one looking at the thickness of the detergent in the detergent packs and the other how much force it took to actually burst the detergent packs."

While their study is still ongoing, they have found that packs with thinner liquid statistically cause more harm.

Kimberly Zellmer, Staff Pharmacist of the Iowa Poison Control stated, "With the thinner liquid products you have a higher risk of aspirating or getting the detergent into your lungs."

The brightly colored packaging may also attract children, as well as their size.

"Undoubtedly part of it is their size, because little children can get into it more easily.  It's a small item that they can easily get into their hands and get into their mouth. As opposed to trying to pick up a large bottle."

While the poison control center doesn't deter the use of the single packs, they do suggest taking proper steps to keep your family safe.

"It is important for the public and whoever owns these packets and has them in their laundry room, make sure they have them out of reach of their children. And if they happen to see their children getting into them, make sure they stop the child right away and make sure they're out of the child's reach. If your child does bite into the packet or has any sort of problem with them, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222 and we can help you out with that."

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