Curious

Why are capsule detergents dangerous for young children?

Toddler children are very inquisitive and actively explore the world around them, especially their own home.

But in case of violation of the safety rules this curiosity can become a very big problem, especially if at home we use not the classic washing powder, but the washing machine capsules that have appeared in recent years machine.

This conclusion was actually reached by the authors of a new study conducted by scientists from the National Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, USA.

They believe that liquid laundry concentrate capsules are much more dangerous in terms of the risk of poisoning small children compared to regular powder.

The team of scientists, led by Dr. Gary Smith, published the results of their study in the journal “Pediatrics”.

Since the appearance of washing capsules in US supermarkets in 2010, they have overtaken the classic washing powder in sales. The main reason for this is its convenient shape.

However, according to the study’s co-author, Dr. Marcel J. Casavant, serious concern among medical professionals is the excessive attractiveness of these “brightly colored bags” to young children.

Detergent capsules are small in size, bright in color and may look like candy or juice to small children.

A few seconds can be enough for a child to “get” a large dose of the toxic detergent: they can grab a capsule, put it in their mouth and swallow its contents.

And the composition of the capsules is extremely toxic. The substance can cause not only poisoning if swallowed, but also chemical burns to the eyes and mouth.

The authors of the study decided to check their fears and analyze the statistics on the frequency of poisoning of small children with laundry capsules.

They used information from the US National Poisons Database for 2012-2013 and examined all documented cases of household chemical poisoning in children under 6 years of age.

Scientists found that over a 1-year period, US poison control centers received 17,230 calls related to poisoning of children with automatic washing machine capsules, which equates to 1 case of poisoning per hour. Of the registered cases, 769 children were hospitalized, and one died.

Oral intake of the capsules was the most common way of poisoning, accounting for 79.4% of cases. Children aged between 1 and 2 years old most often swallowed such capsules.

Analyzing the symptoms of poisoning, the authors found that 48% of the children vomited, 13% had a strong suffocating cough, 11% documented severe pain and eye irritation, 7% suddenly became apathetic and sleepy, and 7% developed chemical conjunctivitis.

In 904 of the poisoning cases, the child had direct access to the capsule storage area. In 382 of these cases, the detergent pods were stored in a place visible daily to the child.

In 97 of the cases, the package with capsules was placed in a place inaccessible to the child, but on the day of the poisoning, it was accidentally left near the child, because the adults forgot to put it away.

And in 54 of the cases, the child was able to get to the storage place that parents thought was inaccessible to him.

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