Lesson: Lock up laundry pods
The poison control center calls: A 2-year-old swallowed part of a laundry detergent pod before spitting out the rest. She was found to be very sleepy and drooling, and a scope of her airway and esophagus showed swelling and burns. Due to lung injury she remained on a ventilator for two days and in the hospital for four. In a separate instance, a 83-year-old female with dementia ingested a laundry pod and developed breathing difficulties and a swollen tongue. Because the family had decided to keep her comfortable and off life support, she died within 48 hours. These are the everyday emergencies you should know how to manage.
How to prevent laundry pod poisoning
“Cleaning products like laundry detergents are among our most common calls, but when laundry pods came out we suddenly saw very severe effects way out of proportion to regular detergents,” says Barbara Insley Crouch, PharmD, MSPH, executive director of the Utah Poison Control Center. “People need to realize pods pose a greater danger than typical detergent because they’re more concentrated, plus they’re so colorful they look like candy.” From March 2012 to April 2013, the number of monthly laundry pod exposures leapt by 645.3 percent, according to the journal Pediatrics. In fact, the danger of laundry pods has become so great that in 2015 Consumer Reports said “we strongly urge households where children younger than 6 are ever present to skip them altogether.”