The Number 1 Danger to Kids Hiding in Your Laundry Room

woman doing laundry with laundry podsThe average American family does more than 400 loads of laundry every single year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And with just about a load per day, we're all trying to make the entire process a little more convenient. That's where laundry detergent pods came in. They're small, simple, and help to ease the laundry fuss. But a new study, coming from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, shows us that those little laundry pods actually pose a huge danger to our kids.

Researchers used data from the National Poison Data System and determined that more than 17,000 children aged 6 and under have had dangerous incidents with laundry pods. And more than 79 percent of those kids whose parents called Poison Control after a laundry pod exposure incident had swallowed the pods.

Scarier still: the number of dangerous incidents has been on the rise as these products are becoming more and more popular. 

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Take a look at the picture below. Could you immediately tell the difference between a laundry pod and candy?

laundry pods candy

To a newly mobile and teething baby, they look an awful lot alike.

That's why researchers attribute the high number of ingestion cases to low and inappropriate placement of the pods. If you're storing them in an easily opened and low cabinet, and in a clear bag or container, they're easy to access and see. And the small pouches and enticing colors definitely call out directly to your little ones.

More from The Stir: Laundry Detergent Pods & Keeping Kids Safe: What Every Parent Should Know

The study also showed that many ingestion cases happened during one single unintended moment. Caregivers would leave the room momentarily or were temporarily distracted and the curious child suddenly had easy access to the pods.

So how do you make sure to keep your kids safe? Researchers recommend storing the pods in the original plastic container and keeping it out of reach of the child either on a high shelf or behind a properly secured cabinet.

While we may use these little handy pods for convenience and ease, it's important to not let that overshadow safety. Keeping them out of the reach of children should be the number one priority.

Do you use laundry detergent pods in your home? How do you keep your kids safe?


Images via Nationwide Children's

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