Detergent packets pose dangers for kids

Detergent packets pose dangers for kids

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by Cathy Marshall

Bio | Email | Follow: @CathyMarshall8

kgw.com

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 9:48 AM

A product designed to make doing the laundry easier, but a Newberg Mom is the latest to learn pods with detergent can be dangerous for children.

Last Thursday, Jessica Wiltshire's 4-year-old daughter Roxy mistook a laundry pod for a balloon.

“It was horrible. We didn’t know for four days if she was going to be able to see,” said Wiltshire.

“I popped it and it went into my eyes,” Roxy remembered.

“They're so potent that it's a chemical burn to your child's eyes," explained her mom.

The Director of Oregon Poison Control says the packets of laundry detergent have made 3,000 kids sick across the country since May. Twenty of the cases were reported in Oregon.

"When they put it in their mouth, that thin membrane dissolves very quickly and it usually explodes backwards down the back of the throat into their lungs," explained Dr. Zane Horowitz.

The pod that got Roxy’s attention contained clear liquid detergent, but others with color are even more enticing to children because they mistake them for candy.

"There have been several children who have been quite seriously ill and been in the intensive care unit for a week," remarked Horowitz.

Roxy went to the emergency room where doctors worked to flush the detergent out of her eyes.

"The one eye at this point doesn't have full vision, but we're hoping it comes back. We have an appointment to have it checked again in 10 days," said Roxy’s Mom.

She contacted Safeway where she bought the detergent and is pushing for childproof packaging.

"Our main message right now is keep these out of the reach of children and even locked up,” advised Horowitz.

Roxy’s mom says she’ll throw her bag of the detergent pods away and is grateful her daughter will be able to enjoy the sight of her costume on Halloween. “

Trick or treat,” said the 4-year-old as she admired her Strawberry Shortcake dress and wig.

More: OHSU poison control

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