Toddlers at risk for swallowing Liquitabs Dishwasher and Laundry Detergent Products

Stethoscope - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - Doctors in the UK are calling for better safety warnings and childproof packaging for liquitab products, which are individually portioned out dishwashing and laundry soap. The online version of the Archives of Disease in Childhooddoctors reported five cases of toddlers swallowing the products.

The youngest child to swallow a liquitab was only 10-month old. The other four children were under 2 years of age. All of the incidences happened over one and a half years and they were all taken to a Glasgow hospital. All of the children survived, but one child had to get surgery to treat the swelling and ulceration. Four of the children had to have intubation for swelling and ulceration. The oldest child was treated with antibiotics and steroids.

The liquitabs have strong alkaline cleaning agents along with a potent solvent to dissolve dirt. If consumed by children, the cleaning agents can damage the tissue and cause extreme inflammation and swelling, warn the doctors in the report. The possible harm includes a blocked airway and possible lung damage. It can be fatal to the child.

The incidences are wide spread they report. Last year, the UK's National Poisoning Information Service received 647 telephone calls and around 4,000 online search inquiries about eating or swallowing the liquid detergent capsule products.

Other problems can occur from young children getting hold of these products. They can also be at risk for severe eye injuries from the detergent getting on their hands and then into their eyes.

The doctors are concerned that the packaging is not childproof. It is voluntary for the company to comply with package safety standards for these items. Also, the doctors suggest that improved safety warnings are also needed. These changes by the manufacturer would help prevent these possibly life threatening injuries in the future, they explain. The doctors have written to the manufacturers about their concerns and are asking the companies to improve their packaging standards.

The doctors also remind parents to keep the products out of reach of children.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

Ref: 1, 2

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