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May 3, 2018

Poison control centers across the nation have been bombarded with thousands of calls from frantic parents. The problem: brightly colored laundry detergent pods that are irresistible to toddlers. One seven-month old in Florida recently died after accidentally swallowing the pod’s highly toxic contents. The multi-hued packets are easily mistaken for candy, and now doctors are urging parents to take heed in the proper storage of this seemingly innocuous household product, which a new study indicates is responsible for more than 700 child illnesses this year, and one death.

Published in Pediatrics this November, the study reviewed data collected from poison control centers last year. The researchers found 17,230 reports of laundry pod poisoning in children under the age of six – and more than 75 percent of the injured had ingested the detergent.

The research team concluded that detergent pods remain a “real risk” to children and recommend the creation of a nationwide safety standard to expand product labeling and packaging.

If your child has been harmed from ingesting a laundry detergent pod, you may have grounds for legal recourse. The Arizona product liability lawyers at Wattel & York have been following the latest CDC data, and urge parents to safeguard their children against the dangers of accidental laundry pod ingestion.


Curious toddlers are often putting strange and brightly colored objects in their mouths, and these laundry detergent pods prove no exception. Once ingested, the concentrated detergent can cause a child to go into respiratory distress – in some cases requiring intubation. Eye exposure can lead to serious corneal irritation and chemical burns and even temporary blindness.

According to the study, a large number of children who experienced laundry pod poisoning needed ICU level care, with some developing seizures and falling into a coma. 

While incredibly convenient, the pods pose a very specific hazard to small children, caution experts like Chief of Emergency Services at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Dr. Al Sacchetti. “Parents  should be aware that if their child does consume one of these pods, they should contact their local poison control center immediately and bring their child to the closest emergency department for monitoring,” warns resident ER physician at University of Virginia Health System, Dr. Claire Melin.

The age group most at risk for laundry detergent poisoning was those under the age of four, with one and two year-old children at greatest risk. The take home message: parents of young children and toddlers need to be aware of the immediate hazards of pod ingestion, and keep them out of reach. Also, measures need to be taken to make these appealing packets more child-resistant.

In 2013, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) alerted parents about potential dangers associated with detergent pods and children. The agency also petitioned pod manufacturers to use enhanced child-proof packaging, but unfortunately, these changes were not mandated.


When the unthinkable happens and your child suffers personal injury due to an unsafe or poorly packaged household product, you need legal expertise you can count on. At the law offices of Wattel & York, we will outline your legal options for securing compensation, and work diligently to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.

Our child injury attorneys serve residents throughout Arizona, and can be reached anytime to set up a free and private, no-obligation consultation. To speak with a laundry pod poisoning lawyer today, please call 1-877-333-9545.


  1. CNN, Laundry detergent pods are ‘real risk’ to children http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/10/health/laundry-pod-poisonings/index.html
  2. Forbes, Laundry Detergent Pods Are A Poisonous Threat To Children http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2014/11/11/laundry-detergent-pods-are-a-poisonous-threat-to-children/

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