Proctor & Gamble said Friday that it will be changing the design of its Tide Pods tubs after at least one child was hospitalized for swallowing its colorfully packaged detergent, Reuters reports. The company will be installing a double latch on the tubs, which should be in markets in the next couple of weeks.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) issued a warning last week that people should keep highly concentrated, single-dose packs of detergent out of the reach of children.
The AAPCC said that poison control centers have been getting more calls about kids exposed to single-dose laundry detergent packets, which debuted from several manufacturers earlier this year. According to the AAPCC, some young children who swallowed the small packets required hospitalization, while others got the detergent in their eyes.
Large packages of Tide Pods are clear containers that look like fish bowls with orange lids. Tide Pods also come in resealable bags, which P&G says it will review as well. Doctors across the country are warning parents that kids are confusing the tiny, brightly colored packets of Tide Pods and other single-dose brands with candy and eating them. Nearly 250 cases have been reported this year to poison control centers.
No deaths have been reported but the symptoms hospitals are seeing in connection with ingesting the packets -- such as nausea and breathing problems -- are more severe than typical detergent poisoning.
"We're not quite sure why it's happening, but we've clearly had some kids who have become much more ill," Dr. Kurt Kleinschmidt, a Dallas toxicologist and professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, told CBS News. "We look at these pods as being clearly more dangerous than the standard detergent."
"The packs themselves are safe, regardless of who manufactures them, provided that they are used for their intended purpose," Paul Fox, a spokesman for Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, told CBS News.
Tide Pods, a single-dose blue, orange and white capsule, is the best-selling single-dose laundry detergent in the United States. The product, introduced this year, has about a 60 percent share of the new and growing unit dose detergent category, according to Reuters.
Other single-dose detergent brands include All Mighty Pacs, from Sun Products Corp., Arm & Hammer Power Paks from Church & Dwight Co. Inc., and Purex from Henkel.
None of them are edible.