Health department: keep “laundry pods” away from kids

By Jim McCabe on April 27 at 1:55pm

Photo of a "laundry pod" from the Illinois Poison Control blog.

New data suggests West Central Illinois parents should be more vigilant to ensure their children aren’t ingesting a certain product used to wash clothes.

The Illinois Poison Center is reminding people that more kids are putting “laundry pods” in their mouth, and as a result can get sick or even die. The center says it received ten times as many calls regarding children’s exposure to the pods from 2012 to 2014.

Morgan County Health Department Director Dale Bainter.

“When we have a product [where] the packaging is something that a toddler or a youth are going to find curiosity in, or that might look appealing, something that they might put in their mouth- wouldn’t be any different than paints, Drain-o, it used to be Windex or even just brand glass cleaner, which mimics possibly kool-aid or something a child would want to drink, we want to make sure that we store any of those chemicals or those harmful things that our children might want to consume in a safe place,” says Bainter.

“Make sure that we’ve got cabinet locks on, and make sure that they’re not going to accidentally consume those and do harm to themselves on accident.”

Bainter says there’s plenty of other things children can accidentally swallow, too.

“Anything from large batteries and small batteries that can interact with someone’s stomach. Anything that’s small. We’ve all seen that warning on small toys, maybe a choking hazard. If it’s not a food, and it’s small enough that your child might either get it in their mouths and swallow it or get it lodged, we want to practice making sure that those things are either removed or unavailable for them to play with. If it’s small, they can get it in their mouth, you need to keep it away from them,” he says.

You can call the Illinois Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.