A recent report released in the May 2016 edition of Pediatrics is once again raising alarm bells about the significant dangers associated with using dishwasher and laundry detergent pods in the home if you have young children.
The study reports that "U.S. poison control centres received 62,254 calls in 2013 and 2014 for children under six years old who had been exposed to laundry and dishwasher detergent packets, a 17 per cent increase in unintentional exposure to laundry detergent pods and a 14 per cent increase in exposure to dishwasher detergent packets."
As reported Monday by CTVnews.ca, this is not the first we've heard about the dangers posed by these pods in Canada. In fact, "In 2015, the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program studied 54 cases of exposure to laundry detergent packets were reported to emergency departments since 2012..."
"Out of the 54 cases, 46 per cent of patients were admitted to hospital and six were treated in intensive care units."
In 2012 Health Canada warned that the "brightly coloured packets with their squishy texture are attractive to children."
The release of the U.S. study can serve as a helpful reminder for Canadian families, to pay heed to these warnings and ensure that they are store laundry detergent and dishwasher pods in a location where they can not be found or swallowed, such as a child proof locked drawer or cabinet. Same goes for other chemical cleaners, but Henry Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Centre and co-author of this study, points out in a statement to CBC.ca that these pods in particular,
"...are quite attractive in colour and also their size and shape. If you're a little two-year-old … they're almost the perfect size if you have a little hand, and they're conveniently available at home."
He goes on to recommend that families with young children—particularly those who are still putting everything in their mouths—should think about using traditional detergents instead of pods.
It's a good idea to keep the number of your province's Poison Control Centre posted somewhere accessible in your home, just in case anyone ingests something harmful, or you suspect they might have. You can get the numbers for all provincial Canadian Poison Control Centres from the capcc.ca website.
Do you use laundry/dishwasher detergent pods; are they always out of reach of any children or pets? Please share this post with family and friends to help get the word out to keep them safely out of reach.