For awhile now, Consumer Reports has been attempting to warn people about the potential danger posed by single-use laundry detergent pods. Because these small colorful items might to children be indistinguishable from a piece of candy, there has been a tendency for kids to put these items in their mouths. More than 3,000 people reportedly called a poison control center in conjunction with such an incident by this past September, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission believes that 500 injuries resulted from ingestion this year.
Because of this, and possibly in part because of the urging of Consumer Reports, the CPSC has officially advised parents on certain safety precautions they can take to make sure that kids are safe from these items. The CPSC is telling parents to keep the items in a locked area out of the reach of children.
These measures, however, fall short of what Consumer Reports would have liked to see. They want there to be additional regulations and a full-on investigation of the items, but that has not happened yet. So instead, the group plans to continue to advocate for child-proof packaging and labels that more adequately explain the danger. They would also like to see a color change that makes the items look less like candy.
If you’ve opted to use these pods, heed the directives of the CPSC. Simple actions like putting them out of reach can go a long way toward preventing an injury, so always err on the side of caution.