Children are mistaking laundry detergent capsules as sweets, figures reveal

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14th June 2016 18:16 - Chemicals

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned parents that according to new figures, children are mistaking laundry detergent capsules as sweets, at a rate of one case per day.Children are mistaking laundry detergent capsules as sweets, figures reveal

Cases of children consuming the bright, colourful capsules mistakenly are occurring at a “deeply alarming” rate, the the Local Government Association suggests, and warns parents that they should keep laundry detergent capsules out of reach of children.

If consumed, the capsules can cause serious damage, as they contain a mixture of highly dangerous chemicals. If consumed, the chemicals can cause burns, internal swelling, comas or breathing difficulties. To add to this, if the detergent liquid reaches the eyes, the chemicals can cause temporary blindness.

According to the Local Government Association, there is more than one case of a child consuming a laundry detergent capsule per day. The child is usually under five years old.

The National Poison Information Service in the United Kingdom conducted a survey which revealed that in the last five years, there have been in excess of 2,000 recorded cases of children eating laundry capsules. Of this figure, four children suffered breathing difficulties as a result of the consumption, one had a burned airway and a further four children required the support of a ventilator.

The most recent yearly breakdown of data on the reported exposure to laundry detergent capsules in the United Kingdom revealed that there were 404 incidents in 2014, 424 in 2013, 422 in 2012, 434 in 2011 and 486 in 2010.

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