Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare says more calls are coming in about children being poisoned by bright and colorful laundry detergent packets this year compared to last. Children can mistake the plastic soap tabs for candy.
So far this year, 69 Idaho children in Idaho have been exposed to the packets by eating them or getting the soap in their eyes and nose. That compares to 45 kids during the same time frame last year.
This year, 40 kids went to the emergency room and five of those children ended up being hospitalized.
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesperson Niki Forbing-Orr says there’s been a 30 percent increase this year in calls about the packets. “They’re single use laundry detergent packets and they’re extremely convenient because you don’t have to unwrap them to use them,” says Forbing-Orr. “But they are colorful and they can look like candy to little kids so that’s why they’re dangerous.”
Forbing-Orr urges parents to keep the packets where children cannot reach them.
Nationally, more than 17,000 kids were exposed to the packets in 2012-2013 and almost 800 were hospitalized.
If you think a child has been exposed to laundry detergent, call the Idaho Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.
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