Tags: liquitabs | detergent | risk

Docs: Detergent Capsules Pose kid Risk

Friday, 07 Sep 2012 11:02 AM




Those popular colorful laundry and dishwashing detergent capsules called “liquitabs” pose a growing poison and choking hazard to toddlers who swallow them, mistaking them for candy, according to a new warning from doctors.
Calling the danger a “significant public health issue,” a British physicians group has called on product manufacturers to “rethink” the new packaging trend, create childproof containers for liquitabs, and strengthen safety warnings to alert parents to the potential hazards.
In a report in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, the doctors said their calls were prompted by a cluster of Glasgow incidents in which toddlers have inadvertently swallowed the capsules, causing a blockage in their airways. The five cases all occurred within 18 months and involved children under 2 years of age, including one 10-month-old.
The liquitabs contain strong alkaline cleaning agents, which can destroy tissue and cause inflammation and swelling, the doctors noted. That, in turn, can lead to potentially fatal airway blockages and lung damage.
All the children cited in the report recovered, but four required intubation for several days to treat swelling and ulceration and needed surgery.
Last year the National Poisoning Information Service received 647 phone calls and almost 4,000 online searches about the swallowing of liquid detergent capsules, the researchers said.
"This is an increase over the previous year's total and more than double the number of enquiries made for these types of products 5 years ago," they added.
"To help prevent future potentially life threatening injuries, improved safety warnings and childproof packaging are urgently required."
The doctors said they have written to the products’ manufacturers, alerting them to the problem.

© HealthDay

   
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Colorful detergent 'liquitabs' pose a growing poison and choking hazard to toddlers who swallow them.
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2012-02-07
Friday, 07 Sep 2012 11:02 AM
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