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Alarming Spike in Ocular Burns to Children from Detergent Pods

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pods3Any parent of a young toddler or small child knows how critical it is to safeguard their home in order to prevent their child from getting into dangerous products which could cause serious harm or even be fatal. However, there is one product that was introduced on the market a few years ago – liquid detergent pods – that has caused an alarming number of injuries in children, including chemical burns to their eyes.

Although regular liquid detergent and other cleaners have alkaline chemicals which can burn, the majority of these products are in diluted form. The chemicals in the pods, however, are concentrated, which make them extremely dangerous.

Ocular Burns

According to a recent study, during the three-year period between 2012 through 2015, there were more than 1,200 children who suffered burns to their eyes after puncturing the pod which contains liquid detergent. Once punctured, the detergent can squirt directly into the child’s eyes. Another form of contact is that the liquid gets on their hands and they wipe their eyes or face.

In 2012, there were 12 reports of young children suffering burns to their eyes, referred to as ocular burns. In 2015, the number of children suffering ocular burns from detergent pods spiked to 480.

Permanent Damage to Vision

According to information from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, when the chemicals hit the young victim’s eye, it takes just 15 seconds for them to spread through the cornea, lens, and inner eye. Once these parts of the eye have been burned, the damage to the child’s vision will most likely be long-term, if not permanent. Victims often face multiple surgeries to try to repair damage, but many end up suffering some level of blindness.

Dangerous Products

The dangers of detergent pods have been known for quite some time. Not only do children face the risks of ocular burns, but many children have been poisoned. The pods themselves are designed in a way that many young children mistake for candy and ingest them. In 2016, there were 11,528 reports of young children being harmed from these pods. Already in the first three months of this year, there were 2,466 young children exposed.

When many people think of dangerous or defective products, they think of the product themselves, however, the packaging of a known dangerous product which causes an injury can also leave a manufacturer facing a product liability claim.