Health hazard: Doctors issue warning about laundry pods to parents

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Cleveland – A more convenient way to do laundry, may pose a danger to young children. Products that have been on the market for just a few years, are responsible for sending thousands of children to the Emergency Room. And, as we find out in Your Child’s Health report, pediatricians are concerned.

Two-year-old Katie Matty is like most toddlers who are naturally curious.  And, that's why her mom can see how a small, colored laundry pod might get her attention. So, with the laundry pods, I have some and I keep them up above -- such that we never play with them or she has no access to touching or using them," Kelly Matty said.

Laundry pods may be convenient to pop in the washer. But, doctors say children could also easily put them in their mouth. "They are very dangerous and something that we're very careful about in our house,” Katie’s mom added.
According to reports to the Poison Centers, nearly 12,000 children, age 5 and younger – were exposed to laundry detergent packets last year.  Dr. Jerri Rose, Pediatric Emergency Room Physician for Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital said many of those children needed medical attention.  "The injuries are more due to burning of the skin or the lining of the mouth or the covering of the eyes from the very concentrated chemicals - so it's more chemical burn that we are seeing," Dr. Rose said.
The laundry pods pose a risk to young children if they burst or are swallowed because of the high concentration of detergent in them. "The children that I have seen have come in more with eyes injuries.  So, again -- those pods are very attractive. They're pretty. Children like to bite into them. At Rainbow, we have seen some children have ingested the material and required hospitalization,” Dr. Rose added.  
Dr. Rose said the laundry pods can be like poison to children.  That’s why she recommends that all parents have the number to the local Poison Control Center on hand.  It is 1-800-222-1222.  Dr. Rose also suggests that if your child requires medical attention, be sure to bring the laundry pod product to the Emergency Room because that will help the E-R staff in treating your child.
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