(KTVI) – They're a new, modern convenience in the laundry room, but single-use laundry pods also poisoning children across the country. Already this year, the Missouri Poison Control Center has logged more than 70 calls related to laundry pod poisonings; nationwide the number of calls to poison centers since the pods hit the market over a year ago tops 9,000.
"If you contrast that with the type of symptoms we see from conventional detergents, it`s mild nausea or maybe a stomach ache, but nothing like what we see with these highly-concentrated single use packets," says Dan DiClerico, senior editor at Consumer Reporters.
Experts say the danger lies in the packaging. The pods look like candy, and curious toddlers find them, bite into them, then get a shot of highly concentrated detergent in their mouths. In extreme cases, children have needed ventilator care to assist in breathing. In most cases, wiping out the child's mouth and diluting the detergent is enough to ease the discomfort. In all cases, parents should call the poison control center for advice on any household poisoning.