Warning: Laundry pods could put a child's vision at risk

Posted at 7:46 AM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 09:31:13-04



There’s been a lot of warnings about laundry pods and kids eating them, but a new study shows the pods can put your child's vision at risk, too. 

The study, released just this year, highlights the dangers and 5 On Your Side Investigators explain the injuries have doctors on high alert.

"You guys really broke this," said Jessica Fleming from Bedford. She was talking to her 4-year-old daughter Brooklyn. Fleming knows how kids can break things. Brooklyn's Barbie doll house has some damage.

"How are (the Barbies) supposed to get up there if you broke the elevator?” asked Fleming to her daughter.

5 On Your Side Investigators easily broke a laundry pod full of detergent. Safety is a huge reason Fleming stopped using pods a couple years ago.

"It does look like a toy that kids can play with or eat and...we know that it's hazardous,” she told us.

"This is caustic. I mean it's a detergent,” said Doctor Lolita McDavid. She’s the Medical Director of Child Advocacy and Protection at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.

Doctor McDavid has seen not only problems with kids eating pods but there's an alarming number of issues surrounding children's eyes. 

"About 25% of the children that we now see with eye injuries have to do with these pods," Dr. McDavid said.

The pods can break squirting detergent into a child's face or the liquid gets on their hands and kids wipe their eyes.

When we checked store shelves, packages now have warnings about possible eye injuries.

"These are not insignificant injuries,” said Dr. McDavid. “Especially to children because we know that most of them are in children who are under two years of age."

Companies have added safety features to the packaging and production of the pods but the fear of them bursting in the hands of curious kids is real.

"It looks like something that child would want to eat, and it also feels like something you'd want to squeeze," said Dr. McDavid as she held several pods in her hands.

The best advice is to keep the pods in their closed cases and out of reach from children. Don't place the dish washing pods, for example, under the sink.

It's advice that especially fits Fleming and her 4-year-old daughter. 

"Us, as parents, we have to make sure that we watch our kids and we put these items in places that the kids cannot get them,” said Fleming.

The makers of Tide suggest keeping the pods in their original packaging, close them up, and put them in childproof cabinets.

If your child does get detergent in his or her eye, Dr. McDavid suggested you flush it with cold running water and take your child to the emergency room or urgent center.