Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Children are swallowing laundry detergent pods

When it comes to children safety, product warnings are not likely going to be sufficient to prevent children from using the product incorrectly. For example, incidents related to children swallowing detergent pods have been cropping up in Pennsylvania and across America. Many such incidents are resulting in children requiring medical care and possibly hospitalization.

The reason why the child swallowed the pod likely has to do with the product resembling candy. This was not an isolated situation. Many cases occurring to children under the age of five would prompt some to label the pods as a defective product.

Products liability cases are brought by attorneys on behalf of injured clients when the same incidents occur over and over again. The exposure to these pods has led to at least 865 cases nationwide reported just by poison control centers. There are probably a large number of unreported cases as well.

Product manufacturers need to take steps to prevent foreseeable injuries or be held liable in a court of law. If the dangers are so obvious, as some manufacturers contend, then these companies need also explain why such injuries keep occurring.

Unfortunately, symptoms resulting from this kind of ingestion can vary or at first appear to be relatively mild. Some vomit and others appear extremely drowsy. The pods seem to be related to more medical problems for children than other types of detergents.

The symptoms can be misleading, however, because if left untreated digestion of the detergent pods can lead to children on ventilators and falling ill extremely quickly.

Source: NPR, "More Clues About Hazards From Laundry Detergent Pods," by Scott Hensley, Oct. 18, 2012

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