Childhood poisonings from a new type of detergent packet have soared in recent weeks, experts say, with the total climbing to more than 1,200 this week from about 200 in late May.

Health authorities have been concerned since late March, when poison control centers around the country noted a small number of reports from parents whose children had opened and swallowed the brightly colored laundry detergent products, which are small enough to fit in a child’s palm and may be mistaken for candy. The detergent packets were introduced by a various companies over the winter as a convenience that can be easily dropped into a washing machine.

But because of their bite-size shape and candylike colors, many toddlers and small children have been eating them. Poison control centers first starting putting out alerts about two to three months ago, not long after the products were introduced in the United States. By late May, the number of reported cases had reached 200 to 250 nationwide, prompting widespread news media attention and an announcement from Tide, which makes one of the most popular forms of the products, that the company would change its packaging to make the packets more difficult for children to tamper with.

Doctors involved with poison control centers say they don’t yet know why the packets are more dangerous, why children getting the contents into their systems are suffering such severe reactions. Fine. How about getting this crap out of the stores?

  1. deowll says:

    The strange thing is that stuff wouldn’t have looked like food to me when I was a toddler. We were poor and while I never went hungry the food I ate came fresh from the garden or mother had canned it. I suppose you guys would have called me a victim of third world level poverty but I think I was truly blessed.

  2. KJ says:

    How about parents put it out of reach of the toddlers like they should with any cleaning agent?

    • McCullough says:

      You mean Personal Responsibility…Oh Noes!

      As a kid one Saturday morning, we were out of cereal, so my brother and I polished off a small box of Milk adverse effects, aside from an enhanced desire to chase the cat.

    • Mac Guy says:

      A-fucking-men to that.

      Stop blaming others for your own stupidity. If you don’t want your kids getting into it, don’t put it somewhere they can easily get to.

    • Jason says:

      That would make too much sense. You’ve got to go to the guv’mint if you want a real solution.

  3. kerpow says:

    Survival of the fittest in action.

  4. dusanmal says:

    Parents need to take care of their children. Once that is in place this type of story is pointless but as a pointer that there are still parents out there who are not responsible. As @kerpow summarizes – such parents and children were removed from the evolutionary propagation in the past and the only result of any “protecting regulation” will be human species decline.

  5. sirfelix says:

    Also check out the retail packaging for those Tide Pods.
    From a manufacturing point of view, the prototyping, development and engineering costs are huge to make those Pods.
    Why not just lower the price of the product?
    Whatever happened to basic economic principals of supply and demand?

    • Ted says:

      I considered those pods, but the number of loads per dollar was highter than the standard condensed liquid. I went with the jug of liquid.

      Wonder why kids are getting sick? It’s enough soap for a load of laundry, extremely condensed. Duh?

      My mom had a shelf under the sink. We older kids knew the stuff in there would kill us. It had a child lock on it when my little brother came around.

  6. Badger says:

    Why does this have to be taken out of stores? Did I miss something here? Like personal responsibility.

    I know for a fact it says keep out of reach of children on the package. And also there have been dishwasher versions of this on store shelves longer that this stuff.

    Here is an idea…pay attention.

  7. Bob says:

    “Look here, kiddies. More poison that looks like candy”, I saw that and I thought it was about the Obamacare ruling. Kind of appropriate that they could use the same headline for both.

    • What? says:

      Alfie, must feel good to be so thoroughly brainwashed by Tide ™ brand detergent.

  8. KJ says:

    I, for one, love these things. They cost too much to use on a daily basis for the multitude of loads of laundry we do in the house (we use liquid Tide for that) but for the couple loads that I have my 8 year old do, they work great. I don’t have to worry about him putting in too much or too little, or spilling the liquid detergent all over. So far I haven’t had any indications that he thinks they are candy. My 4 year old either. Looks like they won’t be one of those culled.

  9. Sheila says:

    No that is sick!!!


  10. dave m brewer says:

    I want to sue the food companies for making my food look like food. I get sick every time I eat the shit.

  11. Uncle Patso says:

    I never use the ridiculous amounts of detergent the manufacturers call for — anywhere from 1/2 to 1/10 the amount cleans my clothes just fine, thank you. So what’s a corporation to do to keep up their sales? Package the product so you can’t do that.

    “That’s how they get you.”

  12. deowll says:

    I just buy the stuff in the bottle made for cold water.

  13. Bastian says:

    It is pretty packaging. Kinda looks like candy. I would think though, nearing mouth parts, not so attractive to ingest.

  14. NobodySpecial says:

    Surely the only real solution is a massive government Detergent Security Administration to guard the cupboard under the sink and strip search anyone who wants to go into it

  15. NICKtheRAT says:

    MORE PLASTIC!!!!! maniacal laugh…

  16. sargasso_c says:

    Like eating caustic soda. Children left unattended with brightly colored shiny globes? They swallow Christmas tree decorations, people! Which are probably less harmful than Tide, but I’m not betting.

  17. Glenn E. says:

    I’m an adult and I don’t even drink sodas anymore. But as soon as I saw the photo, I thought it might be a concentrated form of Pepsi. Then I saw the article’s lead, and realized it was a laundry detergent packet. Now if I was that easily fooled, how are children supposed to know better? Stick to icky green or put a mr. yuk face on them. Do the detergent marketing idiots feel the product can’t sell as well, if it doesn’t look safe as candy?!

  18. buybagsmall says:

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  19. concord speaking says:

    Hello, Why would a company manufacture a little bag full of washing chemicals and make it look like candy? Little ones cannot always be trusted and society in general should be looking out for them. Just one child who ingests this is too many. Common sense should tell a product manager not to make this product in this brightly colored form. We are getting way too “convenient” for our own good. And it is red, white and blue too–the colors of the flag. It may not be made in the US. I guess we just have to guess where it comes from.


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