Children become ill after ingesting laundry packets - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Children become ill after ingesting laundry packets

Officials said children think the packets are candy. Officials said children think the packets are candy.

An alert has been released for parents on a new detergent product.

Officials said children are mistaking the colorful detergent packets for candy and eating them.

Poison control centers across the nation reported an increase in calls about children under the age office swallowing the pods.

One report said that ten minutes after a 20-month-old swallowed a laundry detergent packet, the child developed profuse vomiting, wheezing and gasping and then became unresponsive to even painful stimuli.

"The rapid onset of significant symptoms is pretty scary," said Dr. Michael Beuhler, medical director of the Carolinas Poison Center. "Other laundry detergents cause only mild stomach upset or even no symptoms at all. Although we aren't certain what in the product is making the children sick, we urge all parents and caregivers to make sure laundry detergent packs are not accessible to young kids."

A doctor at Huntsville Hospital said there are signs to look for if a child does get a hold of one of the packets.

"The biggest thing is to watch for signs of distress," said Dr. Jessica Branscome. "So if they're complaining of abdominal pain, if they start complaining they feel like they're going to throw up, or if they look like they're struggling with breathing we recommend you call your local poison control or local doctor for advice."

Branscome said you should never induce vomiting because that could cause the child to gag and have trouble breathing.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers recommended always keeping detergents locked up and out of the reach of children; following the specific disposal instructions on the label, and if you think a child has been exposed to a laundry detergent packet, calling your local poison center at-1-800-222-1222 immediately.

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