Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Toddlers increasingly swallowing liquid detergent capsules

Date:
September 5, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Doctors are calling for improved safety warnings and childproof packaging for laundry and dishwasher detergent liquitabs, following a cluster of incidents in which toddlers have inadvertently swallowed the capsules.

Doctors are calling for improved safety warnings and childproof packaging for laundry and dishwasher detergent liquitabs, following a cluster of incidents in which toddlers have inadvertently swallowed the capsules.

The five cases, all of which occurred within the space of 18 months, are reported online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. The youngest child was just 10 months old, and all the children were under the age of 2.

All five children were admitted to one hospital in Glasgow as emergencies, emitting a high pitched wheeze (stridor) indicative of a blockage in the airway.

All liquitabs contain strong alkaline cleaning agents, which have a powerful solvent action that can destroy tissue and cause intense inflammation and swelling, say the authors.

This can rapidly progress to airway blockage and potentially lung damage as the gullet tissue is eroded, which can be fatal.

The eldest of the five children was treated with antibiotics and steroids, but the other four required intubation for several days to treat swelling and ulceration. In one child the swelling and ulceration was so extensive that surgery was required.

All the children recovered, but the authors point out that the incidents had "a catastrophic impact on the child and family" and wasted valuable intensive care resources.

These five cases are not isolated incidents, they point out. Last year the National Poisoning Information Service received 647 phone calls and almost 4000 online searches about the eating/swallowing of the contents of liquid detergent capsules, from healthcare professionals.

"This is an increase over the previous year's total and more than double the number of enquiries made for these types of products 5 years ago," they write.

They highlight other research showing the risk of severe eye injury as a result of young children getting hold of the contents of these capsules.

But most liquitabs do not come in childproof containers, and compliance with packaging safety standards is currently voluntary, say the authors.

"To help prevent future potentially life threatening injuries, improved safety warnings and childproof packaging are urgently required," they argue, adding that they have written to the manufacturers, alerting them to the problem.

Parents also have their part to play in keeping these products out of the reach of children, they say.

"Dishwasher and washing machine liquitabs are now a common finding in most homes, but unfortunately, seem very attractive to young children due to their bright colouring and soft sweetie-like texture," they write.

"We feel that the increasing trend in liquid detergent capsule ingestion poses a significant public health issue," they add.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lyndsay Fraser, David Wynne, W Andrew Clement, Mark Davidson, Haytham Kubba. Liquid detergent capsule ingestion in children: an increasing trend. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2012; DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2012-302662

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Toddlers increasingly swallowing liquid detergent capsules." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905201252.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, September 5). Toddlers increasingly swallowing liquid detergent capsules. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905201252.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Toddlers increasingly swallowing liquid detergent capsules." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905201252.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital acknowledged Wednesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins