The Dirt on the Safety of Detergent Packets
As a parent of a 7 year old that has gotten her sticky little fingers into more trouble, I am always making myself aware of new potential hazards that I bring into my home. We have called the local poison control center a couple times with various concerns over items she has placed in her mouth and sometimes ingested, such as glow sticks.
A new study was released that analyzed and compared child exposures to packets and nonpackets of laundry and dishwasher packets. It was shown that there are twice as many children exposed to the packets then the nonpackets and the children exposed to the packets experienced more severe health effects. The data used for this study was extracted from the National Poison Data System (NPDS) for reported exposures for children under 6 years old from 2013 through 2014.
The information on the safety of their laundry packets have not changed from our original story on laundry detergent packets in 2015, however, since then many companies that manufacture these products have changed the packaging to make them less attractive to young children, added a bitter taste to the outer film to deter children from keeping the packets in their mouths, and adding additional safety features to the containers such as child proof lids. Warning and product use labels should be read and followed by parents and caregivers of children.
So, where are my laundry detergents? They are located on a high shelf in my laundry room basement that I know my children or their friends cannot access without designing some type of climbing apparatus. Seeing the increase in children being exposed to these products has moved me to write about this avoidable hazard again. Please stop what you are doing right now, and go look to see where your cleaning supplies are kept, including your dishwasher and laundry detergents, floor cleaners, disinfectants, hand sanitizer, and any other cleaner. If they are not stored in a secure place out of the reach of your child(ren), then please move it now for the safety of your children.
The experts at poison control centers urge parents and caregivers to:
- Always keep detergent containers closed, sealed and stored up high, out of the reach of children.
- Follow the instructions on the product label.
- Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you suspect a child has come in contact with this detergent.
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