Consumer Alert: Detergent pod poisonings spike among kids

CINCINNATI (FOX19/CNN) - Thousands of kids are being poisoned by those new detergent pods that make it simpler to do laundry, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. There have been 8,500 cases this year of kids being exposed to what the association calls "highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry packets."

One child died in August after eating a Sun products detergent capsule.

The cases so far this year represent a 35% increase over last year, when there were 6,300 cases of reported poisonings of kids under five years of age.

Here in Cincinnati, Procter & Gamble, which makes Tide Pods, sponsored a study showing that in nine out of ten cases the kids got into the capsules on their own. So it's adding child-safety packaging to the container and making the outer covering of each pod more opaque so it's not as easy for kids to see the liquid inside. However, Consumer Reports was hoping P&G would change the color of the actual liquid, which it says still looks like candy to a child.

Some of the children who eat these products have been hospitalized for days with breathing problems, according to the Wall Street Journal.

If you suspect someone has ingested a poison, just call (800) 222-1222 to be routed to the poison control center that serves your area. The Cincinnati Drug and Poison Information Center can be reached at (513) 636-5111. Based at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, it serves a 20 county area in Ohio and fields tens of thousands of calls each year.