Colorful laundry detergent pods can pose a danger to kids

Posted at 5:08 PM, Jul 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-23 17:08:53-04

Laundry detergent pods are a convenient way to do your laundry. There is no guesswork or measuring! But as Consumer Reports has been reporting, these colorful pods can pose a danger to young children.

Poison control centers have received more than 9,500 reports of children 5 and under coming in contact with or ingesting pods since early 2012. Kids are naturally drawn to them. And they’re water-soluble, so as soon as they go into the mouth, they start to dissolve.

Though pods from Tide and Costco’s Kirkland Signature are top performers in Consumer Reports’ cleaning tests, their candy-like packaging and easy access are a real concern. Procter and Gamble, maker of Tide Pods, told Consumer Reports that it would help address the problem by phasing out its clear plastic containers, hopefully by the end of year. But the company says it has no plans to phase out Tide’s easy-open pouch, which it says some consumers prefer. Consumer Reports is concerned that these appealing pods may still find their way into young children’s hands.

Then there’s Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Pacs that come in clear containers. They look a lot like those used for snack food, and they’re easy to open, too. Costco also told Consumer Reports that it will be introducing an opaque container in August, followed by a child-deterrent lid by early next year.

The bottom line here is it’s really important to keep all detergent out of the reach of curious children.

If a small child ingests one of these pods, it can lead to excessive vomiting and has caused some victims to stop breathing. The pods can also cause serious eye injuries. If you suspect your child has come into contact with a detergent pod, call the poison control hotline immediately, at 800-222-1222.