Ever since those convenient detergent pods hit the market a few years ago, safety experts have warned parents to keep them away from small children.
Many toddlers have tried to eat the colorful detergent packs, mistaking them for candy.
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Study: More toddlers suffer eye burns from detergent pods
Now there’s brand new research published in JAMA Ophthalmology that links the widespread use of these pods to an increase in eye-related chemical burns among children.
The study found that the number of chemical burns associated with laundry detergent packs in kids aged 3 to 4 increased to 480 instances in 2015, up from only 12 instances in 2012.
The packets now account for 26% of all chemical-related eye injuries in children of that age group.
Kids were most often injured when the contents of the packet squirted into their eyes or when it leaked onto their hands and they rubbed their eyes.
The study’s lead researcher said there’s a risk of long-term vision impairment from exposure.
To prevent a trip to the emergency room, the American Association of Poison Control Centers says parents need to remember three things about these detergent packs:
- Always keep detergent containers closed, sealed and stored up high, out of the reach of children.
- Follow the instructions on the product label.
- Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you suspect a child has come in contact with a laundry pack.