Warning over poisoning risk from liquid detergent tablets

Thursday 06 September 2012 20.06
Five cases of ingestion in Glasgow saw children sustain severe chemical burns
Five cases of ingestion in Glasgow saw children sustain severe chemical burns

Parents are being warned of the dangers of liquid detergent capsules after the National Poisons Information Centre said it had received 144 enquiries last year relating to children ingesting their contents, or getting it in their eyes.

Liquid detergent tablets have become extremely popular since they first came on the market eight years ago, with 850 million of them sold in Ireland and Britain every year.

However they have also become one of the most common items to be accidentally ingested by children.

Often this can cause vomiting, however a new report in the British Medical Journal has highlighted more serious consequences of ingestion.

It details the case of five children under two-years-old, who were admitted to a Glasgow Hospital in the past year and a half.

These children had sustained severe chemical burns on their throats, with many requiring breathing support for several days afterwards as a result of their injuries.

In one case a child also had to undergo surgery on their airway.

The group which represents detergent manufacturers in Ireland has said they are working to better understand these incidents, which they said occurs once for every one million capsules sold.

However they have advised that their products are kept out of sight and out of reach of children.

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