Experts say that improved safety warnings and childproof packaging for laundry and dishwasher detergent liquitabs are needed because of the recent reports of accidental poisoning of young children in the United States and abroad. The liquitabs contain strong alkaline cleaning agents. The solvent contained in the products can destroy tissue and cause intense inflammation and swelling of the mouth, throat, and airway passages.
Without treatment, exposure can be fatal.
There have been around 1,500 calls to poison centers nationwide recently, says Angelique Ferayorni, DO, an assistant professor of pediatric emergency medicine at the University of Arizona.
“Several serious exposures have occurred, including patients here in Tucson, in which children rapidly developed profuse vomiting, altered mental status, and respiratory distress requiring a breathing tube and ventilator support after swallowing or biting into these packets.”
Ferayorni, an AzAAP member, says the danger is that these bright and colorful pods look like candy to a small child.
Proctor and Gamble, the maker of Tide, has introduced a double latch lid closure to help prevent kids from gaining quick access. But parents need to be aware of the dangers of the growing number of products that are packaged as liquitabs.
Parents also have their part to play in keeping these products out of the reach of children, say experts, who hope that manufacturers will ultimately change the packaging to help protect kids.
Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you suspect your child has been exposed to this product or any other toxic household cleaner.