the toolbox: Experts warn of the dangers of detergent packets

  • Updated: May 27, 2014 - 3:05 PM

Detergent packets look like candy to kids.

Photo: Tom Burton • Orlando Sentinel,

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the toolbox

Liquid laundry detergent packets are convenient. They’re also brightly colored, and to a child they can look like candy or toys.

But they can cause serious harm if they’re ingested or if the packets’ contents get into eyes.

The American Cleaning Institute is trying to get the word out to parents and caregivers, and is urging people to take its Key Pledge to keep laundry rooms safe.

The institute offers these safety recommendations:

• Treat detergent packets as you would any other hazardous product. Keep them out of sight so children aren’t tempted by them, and store them in a place where children can’t get access to them.

• Never let children handle the packets.

• Be careful not to puncture the packets or pull them apart.

• Keep the packets dry. They can quickly dissolve upon contact with water, wet hands or saliva.

• Keep the container closed and dry, even while you’re doing laundry. When you’re done using the detergent, make sure the bag or container is tightly sealed.

• Keep the packets in their original container, with labels intact. In an emergency, you will need the information they provide.

• If you think a child has been exposed to a liquid laundry packet, immediately call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

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