What are detergent pods?
Detergent pods, also known by the names “liquid laundry detergent capsules” or “laundry packets” are capsules containing concentrated forms of liquid detergent. They are marketed from many manufacturers for their ease of use and quick solubility when exposed to water. They come in various forms of packaging and colors.
Why are they dangerous to children?
Detergent pods are sold in flashy attractive colors and shapes, giving them the appearance of candies or small toys. This can put younger children at more risk, especially those less than three years of age who explore things with their mouth, out of curiosity or at times of teething.
What should I do if my child has swallowed a detergent pod?
If your child has swallowed or chewed a detergent pod, bring him/her to a health care facility immediately. A small amount of water can be given to carefully rinse out the mouth if possible. Do not induce vomiting or allow your child to eat or drink until further evaluation by a health care provider.
What if my child’s eyes or skin are exposed to the contents?
If eyes are exposed, wash them immediately with clean water. If any part of the skin is involved, remove any clothing that may have been contaminated with the detergent and thoroughly wash the area with soap and water.
All data and information provided in this FAQ is for informational purposes only. The American College of Medical Toxicology makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of the content of the FAQ and will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.
1. Day R, Bradberry SM, Thomas SHL, Vale JA. Liquid laundry detergent capsules (PODS): a review of their composition and mechanisms of toxicity, and of the circumstances, routes, features, and management of exposure. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2019;57(11):1053-1063. doi:10.1080/15563650.2019.1618466
2. Valdez AL, Casavant MJ, Spiller HA, Chounthirath T, Xiang H, Smith GA. Pediatric exposure to laundry detergent pods. Pediatrics. 2014;134(6):1127-1135. doi:10.1542/peds.2014-0057