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Laundry packets pose poisoning threat to young children

By Staff | Aug 22, 2013

Cape Coral firefighters and paramedics are warning residents about a potential poisoning threat to children.

A new type of laundry detergent product is packaged in “single dose packs” which dissolve in the washing cycle. The packets are colorful, squishy and are attractive to children. Poison centers around the country have logged many calls about people exposed to this type of detergent product, officials said. Types of products cited include Tide Pods, Purex Ultra Packs and Mighty Packs Liquid Laundry Unit Dose.

According to CCFR Training Division Chief Ryan Lamb, a 7-month old died recently in Kissimmee after swallowing the contents of a pod. Most laundry detergents cause only mild stomach upset or no symptoms at all if ingested, but many poison centers are seeing unusual symptoms after exposure to these unit dose packs.

Symptoms include:

* prolonged vomiting

* coughing

* drowsiness

* wheezing, choking and breathing problems resulting in hospitalization

* serious eye damage after product splashed in the eyes.

At present, the cause of the severe symptoms is unknown. It could be due to a higher alkalinity (more corrosive), a product contaminant or ingredients in the vinyl packet, officials said. Product manufacturers have been alerted to the problem.

Cape Coral Fire Rescue strongly urges parents to keep these products away from children. Call the Poison Control Help line at 1-800-222-1222 so that medical professionals can assess your individual situation. Exposures to these products will require close observation.

Source:?Cape Coral Fire Department