CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The West Virginia Poison Center is urging parents and caregivers to keep those highly concentrated “single dose packs” of laundry detergent away from children.
According to a news release, poison centers around the country are reporting a recent increase in calls about exposures of children to laundry detergents packaged in small, single-dose packets.
“Because the packets are colorful and squishy, they are attractive to children. They can be mistaken for candy or something fun to play with,” said Carissa McBurney, Community Outreach Coordinator for the West Virginia Poison Center.
However, some young children and toddlers who have put these small packets into their mouths and swallowed some of the detergent have become very ill and have required hospitalization. Other children have gotten the product in their eyes, resulting in significant eye injury.
Poison centers receive many calls each year about children getting into laundry detergent. Usually, swallowing laundry detergent causes mild stomach upset or even no symptoms.
Poison center experts say the new laundry packets seem to be different. Some children exposed to them experience excessive vomiting, wheezing and gasping. Some get very sleepy. Some even have had trouble breathing and have needed a ventilator to help them breathe.