Detergent Pods Pose Risk to Kids' Eyes

Young children may be attracted to the brightly colored chemicals, study suggests

From the WebMD Archives

By Randy Dotinga

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The popular "pods" that hold liquid laundry or dishwasher detergent can pose a danger to kids, especially to their eyes, a new study reports.

Researchers say parents should keep the pods away from children because if kids squeeze or bite them, the liquid inside can squirt out and enter the eyes, mouth or nose.

Within just a few months in 2012, the study authors saw 10 children, all under age 4, who had eye injuries from encountering the liquid from burst pods. In that same period, another 21 children were treated after ingesting the liquid in the pods.

All of the children with eye injuries recovered after being treated with irrigation of the eye and antibiotic ointment. The recovery period was about four days, according to the study. No further information was available on the children who ingested liquid from the pods.

The study appears in the October issue of the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.


The brightly colored pods, which have been available in the United States for about four years, can attract kids who want to play with them, the study authors said.

Some manufacturers make note of the risks in warning labels and by making it hard for kids to open containers. However, "these safety features are not always present . . . particularly with off-brand or generic laundry pods that might be sold at discount stores," Dr. Constance West, pediatric ophthalmologist and associate professor at Cincinnati Children's and University of Cincinnati department of ophthalmology, said in a journal news release.

The liquid can cause more damage than typical liquid dishwashing and laundry detergent because the chemicals are more concentrated, according to the researchers.

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SOURCE: Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, news release, Oct. 7, 2014

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