Toddlers Increasingly Swallowing Liquid Detergent Capsules

Doctors are calling for improved safety warnings and childproof packaging for laundry and dishwasher detergent liquitabs, following a cluster of incidents in which toddlers have inadvertently swallowed the capsules.

All liquitabs contain strong alkaline cleaning agents, which have a powerful solvent action that can destroy tissue and cause intense inflammation and swelling, say the authors.

This can rapidly progress to airway blockage and potentially lung damage as the gullet tissue is eroded, which can be fatal.

...other research showing the risk of severe eye injury as a result of young children getting hold of the contents of these capsules.

But most liquitabs do not come in childproof containers, and compliance with packaging safety standards is currently voluntary, say the authors.

"Dishwasher and washing machine liquitabs are now a common finding in most homes, but unfortunately, seem very attractive to young children due to their bright colouring and soft sweetie-like texture," they write. [emphasis mine]

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Warnings of the danger of washing machine liquitabs following five ...

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