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Harmful Products Designed for Adults that Appeal to Children

Young children commonly explore objects by putting them in their mouths-especially, when it looks or smells like their favorite treats. But appearances can be deceiving.  Poisoning cases are on the rise for two adult products that attract children because of their appeal to the senses of young children.

Detergent pods save time and eliminate the need to measure out the proper amount of sticky laundry or dish detergent.  Adults are attracted to these brightly colored individually wrapped packets because they make household chores easier. However, these brightly packaged liquid pods can easily be mistaken for candy by young children, and the results can be harmful- even fatal if the child attempts to eat the pod.

In many cases, the detergent is housed in a pod made of a rubbery substance designed to dissolve quickly.  Once a child breaks the rubbery casing, he or she is exposed to highly alkaline chemicals that can cause damage very quickly, according to Remedy’s Health Communities.

According to the Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), nearly 8,200 children under six were injured by detergent pods—either by ingesting the detergent or getting it in their eyes—between January 1 and September 30, 2014.

Child poisoning cases are also on the rise for another adult product that can easily be mistaken for edible sweets. In 2015, more than half of the 3,073 e-cigarette and liquid nicotine poisoning incidents reported to the AAPC involved children under six.

Many adults are turning to e-cigarettes, commonly called vapes, because they are perceived to be a safer form of cigarettes, suggested KidMed Pediatrician Dr. Mark Flanzenbaum in an interview with CBS6.  However, Fanzenbaum warns that the e-liquid can be dangerous to young children if ingested.  Unlike the detergent pods that look like candy, vape e-liquids appeal to a child’s sense of smell.  Sweet smelling vapes include chocolate mint cookie, banana pie, and many aromas reminiscent of popular candies and fruity breakfast cereals.

In response to safety concerns, manufactures of both detergent pods and vape liquids have taken steps to prevent accidental poisonings. Detergent manufacturers have enlarged warnings labels, updated warning labels to include directions for poisoning emergencies, added safety features to the package design and added child proof, or resalable lids to the product containers.  Many vape oil distributors are using childproof lids and caps on their products.

Childhood detergent pod poisoning and nicotine poisoning from e-liquids will continue unless all manufacturers take safety measures.  While many are voluntarily taking precautions, manufacturers who fail to act may face a products liability lawsuit, if a child suffers severe injuries after ingesting the product.



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