Pretty Colors. Pretty Shapes. Laundry Packets Can Be Pretty Dangerous.
Laundry packets are so popular right now. They’re fast and convenient. Too bad they’re more toxic than liquid and powder detergents, plus they pose a poisoning risk to little kids because they can look like candy or toys. Think about it: Those little pouches look good, smell good and are deliciously squishy like gummies. But you must keep them away from your kids. Here’s why and how.
- Each bite-sized packet contains enough detergent for a full load of laundry. If a child puts it in their mouth or squeezes it, they'll be exposed to an extremely toxic combination of chemicals.
- Laundry packets come in bright colors and fun shapes, just like teething toys. If a child grabs one, it can burst or dissolve in their hands, get in their eyes, inhaled through their nose, or end up in their mouth in seconds. Contact with the chemicals from laundry packets in any of these ways is very dangerous, especially for children.
- Laundry packets usually come in packages that are easy for children to open. If you have kids younger than 5 (the age group that puts everything in their mouths), you may not want to use these products.
- If you do use packets, be sure to keep your eyes on them at all times, and try to do laundry when your kids are not around (like naptime).
- Store packets in a locked cabinet or up and away after every use. Keep them in their original container so you know what they are.
- If your child has been in contact with a laundry packet, his or her symptoms may include:
- Mild stomachache
- Coughing, choking, wheezing, gasping
- Eye pain or irritation
- If your child is conscious and breathing, call the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222.
- If your child is unconscious, not breathing or having seizures, call 911 immediately.
Each year, nearly 10,000 children, ages 5 and under, are harmed by laundry packets. That’s more than 1 child an hour.
- American Association of Poison Control Centers
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