Emerging health risk: Liquid laundry
Simple precautions can prevent serious harm. With liquid laundry packets gaining in popularity, now used by 20 percent of U.S. households, parents need to be aware of this emerging risk for children. Between 2012 and 2013, more than 700 children 5 and under experienced serious effects as a result of liquid laundry packets, with the impact greatest among 1 and 2 year olds. In fact, the poison centers received more than 33,000 calls from 2012 through May 2015.
Safe Kids Worldwide, and Tide and Gain, have teamed up to teach parents about keeping kids safe around liquid laundry packets.
“Young children are explorers, and as they develop, often learn by touch and by putting things into their mouths,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “With the increasing popularity of liquid laundry packets, it’s especially important to make parents aware of the importance of keeping them out of the reach and hands of children.”
These packets are a concentrated, single-dose product designed to dissolve in water, so when they come in contact with wet hands or mouths, they start to dissolve and might release the concentrated liquid inside.
If children get into laundry packets, the health risk can be significant. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, children can experience loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, excessive vomiting, severe eye burns, and temporary vision loss.
“Fortunately, the solution to protect children in the home against potential poisoning is simple,” said Carr. “It’s making sure that families and caregivers know what to do to ensure a serious incident doesn’t happen in the home, and what to do if help is needed.”
To prevent poisoning, Safe Kids, and Tide and Gain, offer simple tips to keep children safe:
- Keep liquid laundry packets out of children’s reach and sight.
- Keep packets in their original container and keep the container closed.
- If a child gets into them, call the Poison Help number immediately, 1-800-222-1222.
“At P&G, safety is our number one priority,” said Shailesh Jejurikar, P&G’s North America Fabric Care and New Business Development President. “Most of us are parents too, and we want families to use our products safely. Our Up, Up, and Away campaign and our partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide will support families with information and tools to create safe home environments. We deeply respect and admire the work that Safe Kids Worldwide does in helping reduce the amount of preventable injuries and know that they will be great partners in equipping families with laundry safety information and tools.”
Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to prevent childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 400 coalitions in the U.S. and with partners in more than 25 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 60 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at safekids.org.
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