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Laundry Room and Detergent Safety | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


​Are you a family with young children? Then chances are you spend a great deal of time doing laundry.

Help keep young kids safe by making sure that anything little fingers may try to open, pull on or play with in the laundry room will not harm them.

Single-load liquid laundry detergent packets

If children age 6 years or younger live in or visit your home, consider purchasing traditional detergent products instead of single-load packets.

Traditional laundry detergent is much less toxic than laundry detergent packets. That is because detergent in single-use laundry packets is very concentrated. If even a small amount of the detergent gets into a child’s mouth or eyes, it can cause serious breathing or stomach problems, scratches to the eyes and eye irritation, coma or death.

Because they are often brightly colored, single-load laundry detergent can look like candy or gummy treats. Children may mistake the detergent pods for something good to eat. Biting a packet can cause it to burst, shooting detergent into the child’s mouth and throat or eyes.


Laundry pods recalled for unsafe packaging

More than 8 million packages of laundry detergent packets are recalled because the outer packaging meant to prevent access can split open near the zipper track. Recalled are certain lot codes of Tide Pods, Gain Flings, Ace Pods and Ariel Pods liquid laundry detergent packets.

The
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges people to immediately secure the recalled bags out of sight and reach of children. Visit the CPSC website for
recall details, including how to contact Procter & Gamble for a refund, free replacement child-resistant storage bag and to request a cabinet lock for securing laundry materials.

Cases reported to poison control centers

In January and February 2024,
poison centers across the U.S. received 1,423 reports of exposure to laundry detergent packets in children age 5 years and younger.

In 2015, new voluntary safety standards were created to help improve the safety of laundry packet containers. Since then, reports of young children exposed to the products have slightly decreased, but the products remain extremely toxic. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports solutions to provide even more protection to children from the serious risks these products pose.

What if my child is exposed to a detergent packet?

If your child gets the contents of a laundry detergent packet in their mouth or eye, call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222.

Laundry product safe storage tips

Safely store laundry products before, during and after use. Other safety tips:

  • Never let your children handle or play with laundry detergent packets. The packets dissolve quickly when in contact with water, wet hands or spit.

  • Do not remove a packet from the original container until you are ready to put it in the washing machine. Children can get hold of the packets if they are placed in the laundry basket, on top of the washer or dryer, or on a counter before use. Young children move quickly and can often reach higher than you expect. They can grab a packet and put it in their mouth in the time it takes you to reach for a pair of socks.

  • Keep laundry products in their original containers with the original label on them. Close them tightly when not in use.

  • Always put products away out of sight and reach of children and pets. A high, locked cabinet is best. Do not store products on top of the washer and dryer or in storage drawers under laundry machines. Remember to store spray bottles up and away, too. They are a common source of unintentional poisoning.

  • Know
    what to do in case an injury occurs. Read and follow all instructions on the product label, including safety information.

  • Never mix cleaning products. Some chemical mixtures release irritating or dangerous fumes. Do not combine detergent with ammonia or other
    household cleaners.

  • Read the label for instructions on how to safely dispose of the empty package. Do not reuse empty detergent buckets or bottles.

  • Clean up any spills immediately and wash your hands and any items you use to pour or measure products.

  • Close and lock the laundry room door when you leave the room so curious young children cannot get in.

Washer & dryer safety

To avoid injuries from washers and dryers:

  • Use
    child locks on front-loading washers and dryers to prevent small children from opening the doors while they are in use and also to prevent them from ever crawling in the machines.

  • Clean the lint trap after each use to help prevent fires. Clogged lint traps are a common cause of house fires.

  • Do not lean on or allow children to play or hang on the doors of washers and dryers. This can cause them to tip over onto the child.

  • Vent the dryer outside the home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and prevent mold and mildew build-up.

  • Make a rule that the washer and dryer are not toys.

Laundry chutes

Young children may want to explore this “mysterious opening” we call the laundry chute. While convenient for adults, it poses a great danger for small children.

  • Make sure laundry chute doors are out of the reach of a small child (36 inches or more off the floor).

  • Install child locks to keep your child from opening the chute.

  • Tell your children that the laundry chute is meant only for clothes. Toys and people should never go in the laundry chute.

More information


The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

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