Study: Hundreds of kids harmed by detergent ‘pods’

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – You’ve heard the warning about those laundry detergent pods before.

But, a report released Monday says one child a day over the past two years was sent to the hospital because of the popular product.

“I’m kind of hesitant to buy them,” local mother Elizabeth Vilicka said. “I do buy them because they’re convenient.”

Vilicka is a busy mother of two kids, including two-year-old Owen.

Villicka says she’s aware of the danger, but does her best to protect them.

“I’ve talked to both of my kids, because i have a 4 year old, too,” Vilicka said. “They’re not candy. I keep them sealed and i try to keep them on the top shelf where they can’t get to them.”

Rachel Cairns, owner of All the Little Birds in Boardman, is also a mom.

Cairns doesn’t use the laundry detergent pods, but knows they are a concern for parents.

“I have heard stories, because it seems more so that kids are going towards them as toys,” Cairns said. “They’re squishy. They’re colorful. They look like fun toys.”

The laundry detergent pods are often colorful with a purple and orange design. They are squishy, and easy to break.

“A lot of times children are eating them, but they’re also playing with them and when you puncture that delicate film, it could squirt up causing an eye injury,” Andrea Neuman-Taddei with Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley said.

Some pods look similar to marshmallows.

“You’ll probably see vomiting, wheezing, some stomach issues,” Neuman-Taddei said of common reactions to eating the product. “If they do get into it, immediately call poison control.”

Even with warning labels on the packaging, Cairns says it’s up to the parents to be responsible.

But, she would like to see the companies make changes.

“With this many children getting hurt i think manufacturers need to take a look at the way these products are being packaged,” Cairns said.

For the complete study on laundry detergent pod safety from the American Academy of Pediatrics, click here.

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