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Personal Injury · Wrongful Death · Medical Malpractice

Laundry Pods are a Risk to Children

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) are warning parents about the dangers of laundry detergent pods. These single portion cleaning aids allegedly constitute a choking and poison hazard for children. According to the report, poison hotline services within the United States have received almost 3,000 calls this year regarding the laundry pods and incidents involving children aged five and under. Just within the month of August, the number of calls reportedly totaled 734.

The injured children experienced a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Choking;
  • Wheezing;
  • Vomiting;
  • Gasping;
  • Severe stomach pains; and
  • Coughing

Some cases are more severe, causing seizures, comas and serious breathing problems. According to a report by USA Today, there is even one report of a death linked to the laundry pods. Experts say that these injuries are more serious than incidents involving traditional detergents. Though there is no clear explanation, although the strong concentration of cleaning solution may explain the difference.

These laundry pods are reportedly sending at least one child per day to the hospital and some experts say that the manufacturing companies are not doing enough to prevent these injuries. The AAPCC discusses the danger in the products presentation. Because they are colorful and squishy, they are attractive to children…They can look like candy or something fun to play with.” The capsules are far from candy, however. They are filled with “strong alkaline cleaning agents that can destroy tissue and cause intense inflammation and swelling.”

When injury reports first surfaced, manufacturers reportedly responded with larger warning labels on the outside of the packaging. But, according to poison experts, this measure is proving insufficient to prevent the thousands of injuries that are occurring on a regular basis. In addition to swallowing the pods whole, children like to poke at them with their fingers or break open the thin plastic with their teeth.

An experienced lawyer may be able to prove that the detergent manufacturer is responsible for the injuries of these children. The theory of product liability stems from the legal premise that corporations are responsible for the safety of the products they sell to the public. This includes the entire life of the product, from concept to consumer use. There are generally three types of product liability:

  • Design defect – This is a problem in the initial concept of the product, existing before the item is even made.
  • Manufacturing defect – This is a problem that is created during the manufacturing of the product. This may include a faulty material or improper placement of parts.
  • Marketing defects – These are problems with packaging and consumer warnings.

In this situation, the detergent pods are packaged in a manner that is very similar to a product that would attract young children, creating a potential marketing defect. A problem in this step of the process may leave the corporation liable for all injuries that result.

If your child has been injured from the ingestion of a laundry detergent pod, contact the legal team of Pita & Del Prado, PA for knowledgeable and skillful representation. Call the Miami office today at (888) 670-8060 for a free consultation.

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