In a September blog post we talked about the health risk that laundry and dish soap packs posed to children. Because of their bright colors, many children across the nation, including here in California, were mistaking them for candy. When accidentally ingested, the children became incredibly ill and many medical experts warned that if a large enough amount was unintentionally ingested, it could put a child at risk of death as well.
You'd think that nearly five months later and after all of the media attention that manufacturers would have figured out a safer way of storing this product to reduce the risk of injury of death among children. Back in September, the American Association of Poison Control Centers had received reports of nearly 2,200 children, age 5 and under, who had either swallowed or had gotten the detergent from these packs into their eyes. At the end of December 2012, that number had risen to a staggering 6,258.
Despite manufacturers and experts at poison control centers across the nation urging parents to keep these products out of the reach of small children, sometimes this simply cannot be done because of the types of storage cabinets in some homes. Experts also suggest keeping the packs capped and secured in their respective container, but this can also be difficult if the container is easy to open, like some single-use detergent packs that come in re-sealable bags.
Some critics have pointed out that if the same technique for keeping children out of medication bottles has reduced the number of accidental poisonings in the United States, then why can't the same child-resistant packaging be applied to single-use packs that have continually shown to pose serious health risks to children when consumed?
Source: American Association of Poison Control Centers, "Laundry Detergent Packets"
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