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Pediatric Poisoning Caused by Laundry Packets on the Rise; How to Ensure Your Children’s Safety At Home

Apr 27, 2016 05:06 AM EDT

The number of children under the age of six being exposed to packet or non-packet forms of laundry and detergents in the United States is steadily increasing at an alarming rate, study shows.

The number of children exposed to any kind of detergents rose by 14.3 percent from 2013 to 2014, with the highest percentage of increase seen on laundry detergent packets. According to the study published in the journal Pediatrics, the number of children being exposed to those brightly colored packets has increased by 17 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Among the 62,254 reported pediatric exposures they have analyzed from the National Poison Data System, 35.4 percent were exposed to laundry detergent packets, while 24.2 percent were exposed to dishwashing detergent packets.

About 43.5 percent of the reported pediatric exposures resulted to clinical effect, most commonly vomiting. Laundry detergent packet exposures were 3.9 to 8.2 times to cause these kinds of dangerous effects. Two children deaths are associated with exposure to laundry detergent packet. Other health conditions tied to laundry packet exposure are coma, respiratory arrest and pulmonary edema.

Children were most commonly exposed to these kinds of detergents through ingestion. Majority of the children exposed to detergent were under 3 year old with a mean age of 1.3.

According to the report of CNN, laundry detergent packets were introduced in the United States in 2012. The bright colorful designs and fragrant aromatic scent of laundry detergents, combined with the natural curious minds of children can be a dangerous brew for disaster.

Companies producing detergent packets are doing all they can to prevent pediatric exposure. Various ads targeting parental responsibility were released. They have also developed child-proof packaging for the detergent packets.

But even with the tremendous efforts of the developers, parent should always keep an eye to their children.

Researchers advised parents to keep the detergent packets in high places out of reach of the wandering hands of the children. Better yet, detergents and other kind of dangerous chemical used at home should be stored in a cabinet with locks.

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