Hundreds of children are harmed after consuming laundry detergent pods, study shows

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12th November 2014 10:31 - Chemicals

More than 700 U.S children have been hospitalised in two years, after being poisoned by laundry detergent pods. The packets are easily mistaken for toys or sweets and once consumed, comas and seizures are amongst the most serious affects.

The findings were concluded after researchers examined more than 17,000 calls to poison control centres, over two years.

The calls involved children younger than 6 who mostly were not injured. However, one child died in 2013, which highlights the need for safer packaging, according to the researchers.

Some manufacturers revised and made changes to their packaging, in efforts to make the pods safer for children. After the changes were made, calls to the poison control centres fell slightly.

The research showed that 144 children had eye injuries, 30 fell into comas and 12 had seizures, as a result of consuming the detergent.

Young children becoming exposed to household cleaning products are amongst the top reasons for calls to poison centres. In 2012, of the 111,000 calls to poison control centres surrounding children and cleaning products, 6 per cent of the calls were about detergent packets, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centres.

As a whole, there were 17,230 poison centre calls about young children opening the packets. This figure includes the 769 children who were hospitalised.

The American Cleaning Institute claims to be educating parents about the dangers of cleaning products. However, a survey of the group suggests many are still unaware of the risks.

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