Consumer Group Warns Moms to Stop Using Laundry Pods for Once & For All

baby playing with clothes on laundry lineLaundry pods are a real time-saver in the already hectic life of a parent. Although there have been incidents of accidental ingestion when kids mistake these pods for candy, their convenience has outweighed their risks -- until now. Consumer Reports has announced they are no longer recommending laundry pods in houses with small children.  

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The fact that children are likely to mistake colorful laundry pods for candy isn't new, but despite increased warnings on the packaging and a push for public awareness on the dangers laundry pods pose, the number of children who are getting sick because of them has continued to increase. What's worse, kids who eat the pods typically get much sicker than children who accidentally drink traditional laundry detergent. These factors pushed Consumer Reports to issue its bright-line recommendation to use another type of detergent if there are small children living in or visiting your home.

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If you've never tried laundry pods, let me tell you-- they're awesome. I used to think they were pointless and overpriced, but they really are a time saver. Running down to the basement and tossing a load in the washing machine goes much faster without having to measure liquid or power, clean up the inevitable spills, and wash your hands afterward. But even though I understand the hype, this is a situation where the safety risk isn't worth the benefit.

While I have used laundry pods in the past, a recent close call has made me see the error of my ways. I keep all the laundry chemicals on a high shelf in a cabinet where my 2-year-old twins can't reach. But a few weeks ago I had a bottle of stain remover down to tackle some leftover dinner ketchup on a shirt when one of the boys spilled his crackers in the other room. Without thinking, I walked away from the laundry room.

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I was gone for less than a minute, but that's all it took for my other child to wander in and grab the bottle. Luckily he thought it was hairspray instead of a drink and started to mist his hair and declare himself "handsome." A panicked call to poison control and a shower assured me he would be okay, but it was unnerving to see just how easily a tragedy could have happened. Laundry pods look exactly like candy, so I can only image what would have happened if those had been within his reach instead of the spray bottle.

Sure, laundry pods help make the household chores a little bit easier, but when it comes to your child's well-being, it's much better to be safe than sorry. Consumer Reports's recommendation may be a bummer, but it's still sound advice.

 

Image via Vasilyev Alexandr/shutterstock

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