It may be convenient, but it could harm your child

It may be convenient, but it could harm your child

It is all about simple these days. But in the case of laundry detergent pods, simplicity can come with a cost.

The pods were created to make laundry just a little more convenient. Throwing one in a load of laundry is effortless. Gone are the days of pre-measuring the soap, or worrying about the detergent spilling all over as you pour it into the washer. Popping in a pre-filled, perfectly-measured laundry pod is a wonderful solution.

But experts warn those pods are dangerous for small children. Too often, kids are biting into them or squeezing them so hard they explode in their faces. According to Poison Control Centers and emergency rooms, they are getting calls or seeing children who have ingested the contents of a laundry pod or have suffered face and eye burns when the super concentrated detergent squirts into their face.

These pods are squishy, colorful, and certainly attract the attention of small children who use their senses like taste and touch to explore new things. What teething child wouldn’t love to sink their sore gums into a colorful, gummy, easy-to-hold in their hand packet? In fact, some laundry pods resemble teething toys with the bright two-toned colors.

Unfortunately, these laundry pods have a highly concentrated formula (which is why they are so small). The most common symptoms of laundry pod ingestion include: vomiting, mouth or throat irritation and coughing. There have even been some cases of children developing serious symptoms such as drowsiness, a coma and respiratory difficulty.

Just like it is important to lock up the medicine cabinet or keep the cleaning supplies out of reach of children, it is also important to consider laundry room safety.


  • Keep all detergents out of reach of children
  • Make sure all containers housing the pods/detergent are closed tightly
  • Clean up any spills immediately

Should exposure occur, please call a Poison Control Center immediately.

Related Posts



  1. Seriously? People need to be told to keep laundry detergent away from small children? Some people shouldn’t breed.

  2. Laundry products can cause significant health problems for children even without their ingesting it, whenever those products emit enough synthetic fragrances into the air, and the children breathe it in. Yes, that “fresh” smell, or that “fruity” smell of your detergent comes from a chemical soup added to the product by the manufacturer. The ingredients of that soup are not listed on the container, but are instead referred to usually simply as “fragrance”. “Natural fragrance” on the container ingredient list does not mean anything more than “fragrance”. Burning lungs or throat, watery eyes, or mild nausea are common in sensitive children when they are exposed. Some asthmatics react badly. One independent research chemist has identified phthalates in many laundry products she tested. These plasticizeers are thought by many experts to be hormone disruptors–possibly leading to early puberty in girls, for example. All scented detergents should come with a warning label instructing parents to not expose their children to these fragrances. Of course, that’s not likely to happen any time soon.

Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

Alix McNulty
Alix McNulty

Alix McNulty has been a nurse since 2005, working in neonatal intensive care, pediatric intensive care and emergency services. In her role today, Alix is responsible for educating and providing programming on injury prevention—any issue that could bring a child to the emergency room (poisoning, drowning, vehicle safety, etc.). Alix spends time in schools, daycare centers, libraries, and a variety of other organizations focusing on childhood safety. Alix is a certified child passenger safety technician and has implemented a car seat program at Advocate Children’s Hospital.