Child got into a laundry pod? The poison center is your go-to resource

Single-load laundry packet (laundry pod)

Laundry pod photo courtesy US CPSC

Laundry pods are pretty convenient for adults, but they can be harmful to children. These single-use soap packets are often brightly colored and can attract young children. A child may bite or squeeze a pod, squirting the highly concentrated soap into their mouth or eyes.

About one child gets into a laundry pod every hour, according to an analysis of U.S. poison center cases published recently in Pediatrics. The analysis found that most kids who swallow some of the laundry pod liquid have symptoms—throwing up is the most common. Some children who get the liquid in their eyes have swelling and irritation in the area for a few days.

If a child gets into a laundry pod, the best thing to do is to contact the poison center right away — call 1-800-222-1222 or chat online with the NNEPC. A poison specialist will be able to give you quick help based on how the child is doing. For example, if your child got the liquid in their eyes, the poison center can give you directions on rinsing them out to prevent any damage.

In rare cases, there have been more serious symptoms. If your child is having trouble breathing, call 911.

As with all cleaning products, it’s important to keep laundry pods up high, out of the reach of children. A locked cabinet is even better.

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