CINCINNATI - Children are mistaking brightly colored laundry detergent pods as candy and the problem is not decreasing in spite of manufacturers' measures to curb harm to users.
Almost 1,200 children have been poisoned after eating laundry detergent packets like Tide Pods in the last five months, according to a new report from ABC News . That's an increase of almost 950 cases since reports first surfaced in May about children swallowing the 1-inch cubes that are meant to be dropped into a washing machine in place of liquid or powder detergent.
In May, poison control officials reported about 250 cases of young children eating the brightly colored detergent balls and becoming sick since their introduction earlier this year.
Poison control centers around the country see an average of 10 cases a day where children have eaten the laundry detergent packets, according to the ABC report.
Children have started vomiting, wheezing and gasping for air within minutes of biting into one of the packets and at least 11 children have been placed on ventilators, according to the report. No one has died after swallowing a pod.
Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble, which produces Tide Pods, announced in May that it would create a new double-latch lid to deter children from accessing and eating the brightly colored detergent packets. The new contained designs will be on store shelves soon, representatives said. It’s current containers are not childproof.
Also, P&G says they are making the warning label on the container in larger print.
For the mean time, poison control centers are urging parents to put pods on a very high shelf, or better yet, locked up.
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