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Detergent Pod Dangers

Updated: Tuesday, August 20 2013, 07:57 PM EDT
The poisoning death of a child in Florida earlier this month underscores the danger of laundry detergent pods.

As News 13's Jay Siltzer shows us in today's Health Alert, one child in our area is lucky to be alive after ingesting half a packet.

"It's definitely a problem, it looks like candy, it's very colorful, it's very shiny."

4-year-old Zane Cowan is fortunate to have fully recovered after putting a rapidly dissolving laundry detergent pod like this in his mouth earlier this year.

Dr. Rose Graham, pediatric gastroenterology, "we found he had burns down his throat all the way about two third down his food pipe."

Angela Cowan, Zane's mother, "I wish that on no parent...to see their child laying there lifeless."

"You can see the lining of the esophagus is irritated."

Images of blisters and burns on the right help explain why Zane spent 4 days on a ventilator during his week and a half stay at Mission Children's Hospital.

Zane's Case is by no means that unusual.  In fact, in the past two years, some 8,000 children nationwide have ingested these.

Experts say keeping the poisonous single-load pods away from children is crucial, because of the high levels of concentrated detergent.  But the only real solution, some people say, is getting them off the market.

Dr. Graham, "they cause a  lot of damage.  For a convenience, that you can have an alternative to liquid detergent it doesn't seem like it's worth risking the life of children."

Angela, "I would hate for another parent to go through what I went through because it's absolutely horrible."

Doctors say it's not clear whether children who have seemingly recovered could have health issues later on, including neurological problems.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission continues to receive complaints about the pods.Detergent Pod Dangers


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