It used to be that washing your kid’s mouth out with soap was seen as a punishment. Now, authorities are trying to keep teens from doing just that. Teens have been increasingly biting into laundry pods, with some posting the videos online as part of a “challenge,” according to a statement Tuesday by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The results can be potentially harmful or even deadly.
In the first 15 days of the new year, poison control centers received 39 such calls — the same number they received in all of 2016, the association said. In videos posted on YouTube and social media, people gag, cough and sometimes begin foaming at the mouth after biting into laundry pods.
“The ‘laundry packet challenge’ is neither funny nor without serious health implications,” Stephen Kaminski, the association’s CEO and executive director, said in a statement Tuesday. “We have seen a large spike in single-load laundry packet exposures among teenagers since these videos have been uploaded.” Poison control centers have handled over 50,000 calls about laundry packets over the past five years, the vast majority being accidents involving kids younger than 5 years old. But 13- to 19-year-olds have been responsible for more than 130 intentional exposures since 2016, according to the association. READ MORE