Since the beginning of this year, nearly 250 children have ingested detergent pods, including those from Tide. That’s why Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), maker of the laundry detergent, is repackaging the brightly colored, small packets of laundry detergent to deter kids from eating them. P&G will now package the product in a container with a double-latched lid.
No deaths have been reported in these cases of kids eating detergent, and most incidents took place in March. The most extreme case involved a toddler in suburban Philadelphia who had to be put on a ventilator for a day and hospitalized for a week after he climbed onto a dresser and ate a packet of detergent, The Associated Press reported.
According to Dr. Michael Buehler of the Carolinas Poison Center, Tide’s new container may prevent kids from eating the detergent.
“In a nutshell, yes, it would be good, but I don’t know enough,” Buehler told the AP. “It’s too early to tell.”
The bottom line is that P&G is doing what it can to keep kids out of the laundry soap, but it’s up to parents to act responsibly.
“The most important point is that laundry packs, and there are many on the market today, are like any household cleaning product. They are safe for their intended use but they need to be kept out of the reach of children,” a Procter & Gamble spokesperson said via email.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly implied that Tide packets were the only detergent involved in these incidents.