Pods causes an increase in poison calls

Gaylord Lopez, Director of the Georgia Poison Center. / Jessica Fairley

A household item that's gaining in popularity is causing an influx in calls to the Georgia Poison Center.

For many, tossing a pod of detergent in the washing machine or dishwasher means convenience, but for some this comes at a price.

From January through May, Georgia's Poison Center received less than 20 calls for children who had ingested the products, but then the call volume began to grow.

"June, July, August, and September we've since had 110 calls," says Dr. Gaylord Lopez, Director for the Georgia Poison Center.

Lopez says as more families began to use the items, the more available they're becoming to kids.

"That's an attractive packaging unit for a kid because it looks like a jar of candy," says Dr. Lopez.

Officials say the problem with a lot of the containers that hold the detergent pods is that they are easy for a child to open.

"We had a mom in Atlanta who had just purchased the stuff. She left her groceries on the table, got distracted and the kid was just able to pop open the top without even trying," says Dr. Gaylord Lopez.

He says many dangerous household products come with safety latches and safety lids to keep kids out, but these don't.

It's something companies are working to fix but until there's a change officials say parents have to be proactive.

"Primarily when it's dealing with cleaning agents of that nature it needs to be at least high enough so where the kids cannot get it or in a locked canister," says Steve Ebel, Dougherty County EMS Shift Supervisor.

Georgia poison officials say to this date there have been 119 cases reported in 2012.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off