NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Doctors are warning parents about popular detergent packets after a new study shows an increase in the number of children getting hurt after biting into them.
Two years ago, Angela Avent said her daughter Raniyah had to go on life support after she ate one of the packets.
“She was foaming at the mouth, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, she was just laying there,” Avent said.
The colorful packets can be a convenient way to do the laundry, but to a toddler they can look like candy, CBS2’s Marlie Hall reported.
A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics said there were more than 62,000 detergent-related calls to poison control centers in 2013 and 2014.
There was a 17 percent rise in calls specifically about laundry packets. Among those there were 17 cases of coma, six cases of respiratory arrest and two cases of cardiac arrest.
“We want to let parents know, this is something they want to take caution with, put it up in a cabinet, put it behind a cabinet that locks,” Dr. Henry Spiller of Nationwide Children’s said.
Last year, Consumer Reports stopped recommending laundry packets because of the potential danger, but the industry said it is adopting new voluntary safety changes.
Procter and Gamble, the maker of Tide Pods and Gain Flings, introduced new pods this year that are stronger. They also contain a bitter tasting substance on the outer film to stop kids from biting into them.
The company is also introducing new bags with a child guard zipper. Procter and Gamble says during testing 90 percent of kids under five years old were not able to open the new child proof packages.
The new packages hit store shelves next month.
Safety advocates plan to monitor the changes to make sure they prevent poisonings.