About a year and a half ago, we published an article noting the ingestion risks of laundry detergent packets or pods because their similarity in appearance to candy is appealing to children (Pediatric Exposure to Laundry Detergent Pods). Since then it would be great to say the packets are no longer as colorful (and many are not) but they still exist and have evolved as well into dishwashing detergent pods adding to the ingestion risk of these products.
To assess just how prevalent detergent ingestion is, Davis et al. (10.1542/peds.2015-4529) have analyzed data in children under 6 whose exposures to laundry or dishwasher detergents were brought to poison center attention and captured in the National Poison Data System. More than 60,000 poison center calls occurred in this country between 2013 and 2014 in regard to ingesting of laundry and dishwashing detergent packets.
The authors also describe the unfortunate serious complications that have occurred with these ingestions including two fatalities. While there are new voluntary safety standards established, perhaps the “voluntary” aspect of these standards will need to be strengthened—especially after you read this study. Have you experienced ingestions in your practice from these products?
Do you even talk about them in regard to anticipatory guidance in poison prevention? We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on these products by responding to this blog, posting a comment on our website where the article appears online, or sharing your thoughts via our Facebook page or Twitter handle.