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Children Injured By Detergent Pods

Steve Wagner

You’ve seen them; tiny plastic packets filled with laundry or dish-washing detergent. These packets are often brightly colored and shiny, frequently drawing the attention of little eyes. Because of the draw these “pods” have, they tend to be chewed on and ingested more than other cleaning products, causing severe reactions and illnesses in the children who gain access to them.

Between 2012 and 2013, poison control centers across the U.S. received 17,230 calls regarding children and infants who had ingested detergent from these pods. Out of those calls, 769 of those children ended up needing hospitalization. 144 of the children suffered eye injuries as a result of the pods bursting, 30 children went into comas after ingesting the products, and 12 children suffered from seizures as a result. One child was killed as a result of injury from these pods.

Since a recent study was released in Pediatrics regarding the lack of safety these pods present, manufacturers have worked to increase the safety of the packaging. Researchers found that after these safety measures were put into place, calls to poison control did decrease some, but the efforts were minimal in the larger picture of the injuries children across the country are suffering.

So how do we protect our children from injury when it comes to household cleaning products like these? Here are a few tips for safety:

  • Keep all types of cleaning products out of reach of children. Whether this means you keep them on a high storage shelf, or in a locked cabinet, ensure that kids can’t reach or access the cleaning products at all.
  • Educate all household members on where cleaning items and chemicals are located, as well as safe ways to use them. Try to use harsh products when children are out of the house, and make sure they always get put away when they are done being used.
  • Have a designated space for toys and items that are safe for play. Any time someone who is not familiar with your home or with your child’s toys will know that if it’s not in that designated area, it’s not safe. One story we heard was of a grandmother not knowing the difference between a teething toy and one of these laundry detergent pods, and she actually gave the pod to her grandchild as a teether! If it’s not in the safe-zone, it’s not a safe toy.
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers on hand at all times. Posting them on the refrigerator is a great way to keep them accessible for anyone in the house. Include the number for poison control, the local sheriff or police, your cell phone numbers, emergency family contacts, your family doctor or pediatrician, and whatever else you might need to include for a babysitter or someone in your home.

If your child has been injured by one of these pods, or by another household cleaning item or chemical, the product liability attorneys at Wagner Reese may be able to assist you with the recovery process. Let us help you secure the compensation you deserve to cover the cost of medical bills, lost income, and the pain and suffering your family has endured as a result of your child’s injury. Call us today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation.

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