Detergent pod kills toddler. What can you do to protect kids?

Detergent pod kills toddler. What can you do to protect kids?

By Craig Smith. CREATED Aug 16, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A toddler in Florida died after sticking something in his mouth you could easily have in your house.

Little detergent pods are a convenient way to wash clothes or dishes but an easy way to poison a child.

Young kids explore the world with their mouths, and as they explore their way through the house they could find little packets of trouble: plump little laundry pods packed with concentrated detergent.
To a baby's eye some could look like a big piece of candy.

"The Poison Centers are in business mainly because of children and mainly because of household hazardous chemicals," says Doctor Mazda Shirazi of the Arizona Poison Information Center.
Doctor Shirazi says the Arizona Poison Information Center has handled 53 detergent pod poisonings this year alone.  That figure is for the whole state except Maricopa County.

He says nationwide, Poison Control Centers have handled more than 5,700 pod poisonings since they started counting cases last year.

The Centers for Disease Control put out a special alert on the dangers of the pods.

A lot of this is simple common sense but at KGUN9, we do stories all the time about terrible accidents where people did not take common sense precautions because they thought, that sort of thing simply happens to other people.
Doctor Shirazi says in the stomach, the detergent brings on nausea and vomiting but the biggest threat is if the child inhales it. That can lead to life threatening, suffocating fluid in the lungs.

He says, "It's much better to prevent an inhalation of this in your child's lung than to treat it.

Doctor Shirazi says if you suspect your child has consumed any sort of poison, don't wait for symptoms to appear. Contact the Poison Information Center right away.  Simply call 911 or 800-222-1222.
A lot of the packaging isn't much protection.  Some closes with an easy to open zip lock, so safety is really up to you.

You absolutely want to lock away any sort of household chemicals, alcohol, perfume and so on.  And once you do, don't underestimate the talents of that little baby safecracker. You still have to be careful that they might defeat the safeguard.

Here's another thing safety experts recommend.  Even with secured cabinets, high storage is a valuable extra safeguard and even then, don't underestimate your child's ability to climb.
And safety experts say even if you don't have children, if kids ever visit, these safety precautions apply to you too.


Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press