Wichita Falls ER Doctor Explains Dangers of Kids Ingesting Laundry Detergent Pods

- United Regional is speaking out about the dangers of laundry detergent pods to small kids.

United Regional's emergency room director, Dr. John Hilmi, says in the past month four children, ages ages five to 18 months, have been rushed to the ER because of laundry detergent pods. And he says some have been in critical condition. So Dr. Hilmi is getting the word out about what those pods can do to your kids and what signs to look for.

"We keep ours on top of our dryer.  It's centrally located by the dryer but it's high enough where our three year old can't get into it," says concerned mother, Kim Williams.

But it only takes a second for a child to get their hands or teeth on one of these. And if that happens Dr. Hilmi says look for these symptoms.

"They can get simple vomiting.  It can cause them to choke, gag, cough, wheeze and depending on the amount they take it can depress their mental status and they become very lethargic and you can't rouse them," Dr. Hilmi says.

Dr. Hilmi says if swallowed, symptoms can become life threatening.

"As it goes down the esophagus, it actually will cause... it will eat away at the tissue in the esophagus and in the airway, as well and it will actually liquify it," Dr. Hilmi explains.

It's scary news this mom says won't make her stop using laundry detergent pods but will make her more careful to keep them away from her son while she does the laundry.

If your child does ingest the liquid in a laundry detergent pod Dr. Hilmi says making them throw up only exposes them to the chemicals again. He says thoroughly rinse their mouths with water, call the poison center then rush them to the nearest doctor.

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