So what’s up with this crazy Tide Pod trend where kids all over America and the world are videotaping themselves eating plastic squares of laundry detergent? It seems that this new social media trend gives a new, much different and deadly meaning to “washing your mouth out with soap.”
Parents are rushing their kids to the hospital for eating laundry detergent with a reported 86 cases so far this year, according to the AAPCC.
Tide Pods are well known among the adult community for doing what they are intended to do: to remove stains, keep the brights brighter and the whites whiter. But America’s youth see the pods as an opportunity for the next big dare.
The viral “challenge” of eating a colorful-swirly Tide Pod recently littered the internet where hundreds of videos showed kids (plus a few birdbrained adults) gagging on, coughing, and spitting out mouthfuls of the soap, appearing on a variety social media feeds easily found by kids.
Tide Pods, made by Procter & Gamble, released a statement saying they have no intention of discontinuing the product anytime soon but are concerned with the dangerous trend. Recently they paid high profile NFL star Rob Gronkowski to appear in a video, telling people the dangers of eating the Tide Pods, and well….just not to do it.
Tide Pods are made with powerful and potentially deadly chemicals and cleaning agents meant solely for washing laundry. Officials warn eating a Tide Pod can lead to seizure, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death. In 2015 Proctor & Gamble started adding an ingredient, denatonium benzoate, into their products so children or anyone for that matter, would not eat the detergent. It’s supposed to be one of the bitterest tasting substances and is made to stop anyone from eating and swallowing the detergent.
Unfortunately, the nasty bitter agent hasn’t completely stopped kids from eating the pods, however many of them who’ve “accepted the challenge” are seen spitting out the detergent pretty quickly.
YouTube and Amazon have both taken steps to try and prevent the “challenge” from spreading, with the video platform committing to taking down any videos of people eating Tide Pods and Amazon removing reviews that recommend people do so. In addition, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) was forced to release yet another alert warning consumers not to eat the pods on January 22, 2018, with steep warnings against eating Tide Pods.
Although it seems like a no-brainer to us as adults not to eat a Tide Pod, this social media trend warrants having an open conversation with your children about it, and to help them better understand the dangers of ingesting potentially deadly chemicals.
If you or a loved one misuses a laundry packet or has a question about the risk of exposure to one, immediately contact the national Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222.