Detergent Pods Dangerous to Preschool Children

Detergent Pods Dangerous to Preschool Children

In just three years, the incidence of children admitted to hospitals with ocular burns increased from 12 reported cases in the U.S. to 1,201. What is happening here? Researchers have concluded that the increasing use of detergent pods has caused the spike, and that children ages 3 and 4 are most vulnerable.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy consulted the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, searching for narrative summaries that referenced the laundry detergent pods. They studied the year, gender, race/ethnicity, setting and the circumstances leading to the injuries. Here’s what they found:

  • In 2012, ocular burns were reported in 0.8 percent of all burns to 3 and 4 year olds
  • In 2015, ocular burns represented 26 percent of all burns in that age group
  • Injured children were mostly white and non-hispanic
  • All patients were treated and released from the emergency department

Sterling Haring, DO, MPH, the author of the study, observed two causes to the increase in ocular burns:

  1. There are more detergent pods on the market, and more people are buying them
  2. The pods have been in homes longer, parents have become comfortable with them, and aren’t being as careful to keep the pods away from children

Here is Dr. Haring’s advice to keep children safe from detergent pods and ocular burns:

  • Keep detergent pods up and out of sight, so children cannot reach them or see them
  • If you see a child playing with a detergent pod, take it away, as it is not safe
  • If the child’s eyes are exposed to the pod, wash the eyes (sterile saline is best)

Don’t hesitate to call 911

2017-06-20T14:51:09-05:00 June 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|