Parents Warned about Laundry Detergent Pods

Time-starved parents often seek convenient ways to manage a household without sacrificing safety.  While most parents know to secure cleaning products and dangerous household chemicals to protect young children, sometimes dangers lurk where we don't expect them.  Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that laundry detergent pods are emerging as a significant health risk for children. According to the CDC, there were approximately one thousand reported cases of poisoning by laundry detergent over the course of thirty days this past summer.  Of those reported poisonings, nearly half came from laundry detergent pods.  These pods are small, often brightly-colored, individual packages of detergent that eliminate the need for measuring adding detergent to the wash cycle.   Though these detergent pods can be a convenient laundry solution, saving time and preventing spills, their appearance seems to create dangerous confusion in small children. The CDC reports that ninety-four percent of laundry detergent poisonings occur in children under the age of six.  For small children, the "bite-sized" laundry detergent pods can look very similar to candy.  Young children and toddlers are mistaking the pods for candy and ingesting them, often suffering immediate ill-effects including severe vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and other potentially life-threatening symptoms.  Because of the number of poisonings associated with the detergent pods, the CDC is calling them "an emerging public health hazard in the United States." Though existing laundry detergent containers have not been recalled, some laundry detergent pod manufacturers are planning to unveil child-resistant packaging and labels warning parents of the dangers of leaving the detergent pods within reach of young children.  Critics,  however, say that the measures may not go far enough toward protecting children.  Some say that the new child-resistant containers of one detergent manufacturer even resemble candy jars. Currently, no existing easy-open containers have been recalled, and these products are still available on the shelves of retailers.  Until recalls have been made and voluntary or involuntary changes have been made in packaging standards of these detergent pods, parents are urged to protect their children by securing the visually enticing pods out of reach of young children.  If a child ingests laundry detergent, it is important that parents seek immediate medical attention for the child and report the incident to the CDC or the Consumer Products Safety Commission. If a product fails to perform the way it should, fails to warn of potential hazards, or otherwise poses an unreasonable risk of harm to its users, compensation may be available through a personal injury lawsuit.  Consult an Oklahoma products liability lawyer about a possible claim.

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