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New Study Highlights Toddlers Suffering From Burn Injuries Due To Laundry Packets


According to a new study published in the medical journal JAMA Ophthalmology, between 2012 and 2015, the number of chemical burns linked to laundry detergent packets amongst young children rose by 30 percent. According to CNN, that’s more than 1,200 three and four-year-olds suffering from chemical burns in that three-year time span.

According to chemists, the detergent in the pods is different from regular laundry detergent because it has a higher concentration of surfactants—chemicals which are responsible for stain removal. In fact, they are amongst the worst chemicals that the eye could possibly be exposed to.

Exponential Increase in Burns & Severe Injuries

Since these pods were first introduced onto the market in 2012, the eye chemical burns they cause amongst three and four year-olds have been multiplying exponentially every year; going from 12 cases (or .8 percent of all burns) in 2012 to 480 cases (or 26  percent of all burns) in 2015. According to leading pediatricians, children are also at risk of swallowing the pods, which can end up poisoning them. The pods are sometimes appealing to the children due to their bright colors; almost appearing as toys or candy. Children injure themselves when the pods break open and the contents end up in their hands and eyes.

The burns are unfortunately alkaline-based and more severe than even acid burns: they penetrate the eye, burn fast, and are caustic to eye tissues. There’s also a high risk of long-term vision impairment because, due  lacking blood vessels, corneas are unable to heal well. When a child experiences an injury like this, they require extensive emergency treatment and extensive follow-up treatments.

Due to the burns, studies show that small children are now at the highest risk for all types of chemical ocular burns, and they can’t simply be prevented by parents properly storing the packets; manufacturers must ultimately consider new, safer packaging. Standards developed for consumer manufacturers are voluntary, thus as of now, ensuring that these pods are more difficult for small children to open is left entirely to those companies who produce these pods.

Burn Injury Lawyers Serving Florida

If your child gets laundry detergent from the pods in his or her eyes, it is important to immediately irrigate the eyes with cold tap water for at least 20 minutes, followed by a trip to the emergency room.

Hundreds of thousands of people are harmed by burns every year, whether those are due to chemicals, fires, or other causes. This can not only cause someone to lose their eyesight, but also result in physical deformities, surgeries, medical problems, and other severe, permanent problems that can follow someone for the rest of their life.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a burn injury, contact our experienced Florida personal injury lawyers at Friedland & Associates today for a free consultation. We’re here to discuss your options for moving forward.



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