In case you missed it, putting laundry detergent in your mouth is dangerous. Yet teenagers around the country are popping Tide PODS in their mouth and posting their reactions on social media or YouTube.
The “Tide Pod Challenge” allegedly spread after College Humor posted a video entitled ‘Don’t Eat the Laundry Pods’ in March 2017. The video shows a young man, once tempted to eat the pods, finally does and gets rushed to the hospital, foaming at the mouth.
Since the spread of teens and young adults purposely biting the toxic packets, the YouTube post has been deleted and replaced with a message that reads: “In light of recent news reports of idiot teens actually eating laundry pods, we want to make very clear that our position is the title of the video: DON’T EAT THE LAUNDRY PODS, you moron.”
Wednesday evening, Neshaminy High School tweeted “Seriously…” with an attachment of a Community Awareness Bulletin from the Pennsylvania State Police which warns of the “game.”
The PA State Police listed the following signs and symptoms of detergent poisoning: burns or redness around the mouth and lips, breath that smells like chemicals, vomiting, difficulty breathing, drowsiness, confusion or other altered mental status, seizures, and irritation in the eyes or on the skin from exposure.
In 2017, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported more than 10,500 incidents of “dangerous encounters” for children five-years-old and younger.
AAPCC data shows that from Jan. 1 to Jan. 15 the center handled 39 intentional exposure cases with 91 percent involving ingestion of the detergent. All of the incidents were among the same age demographic.
Stephen Kaminski, JD, AAPCC’s CEO and Executive Director wrote in a release, “If you or a loved one misuses a liquid laundry packet or has a question about the risk of an exposure to one, a poison control expert can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222.”