Mother warns of dangers of detergent pods after son gets sick

HILLSBORO, Ore. - One mother says she had no idea just how dangerous those little detergent packets could be until her little boy was poisoned.

Julia Low's one and a half year old son, Kai, is home from the hospital after becoming violently ill for hours Sunday.

Low said she had no idea how highly concentrated those packets were in comparison to regular powder or liquid detergent.

The detergent pods are newer products and are not on some parents' radar, and the bright, colorful squishy gel packets are tempting for curious kids.

Low said Kai is always into everything, which is why she keeps her cleaning supplies out of reach.

But she said her son was at his grandmother's home Sunday when he got one of the packets in his mouth. She pulled it out quickly but not before he bit in and swallowed some of that highly concentrated detergent chemical, causing him to vomit every few minutes for the next hour and a half.

"He was vomiting, and it was very bubbly and there was some blood in his vomit. And he just went really lethargic. And it was really scary," Low said. "I was in shock. I really didn't know what was going on or the severity of it."

Low said her son didn't even swallow the entire packet.

"He just bit into it and just the small amount of liquid went into his mouth, and it was enough to cause that much reaction," she said.

In addition to being highly concentrated, the plastic seal on the packet dissolves with even a little bit of saliva. So it only takes a second for that chemical to shoot down the throat and into the lungs.

Kai had to stay in the hospital for most of the day while doctors monitored his progress. He was in much better spirits Monday but he still had a stomachache and didn't sleep all of the night.

He'll have a follow-up checkup to make sure there isn't any damage to his lungs and throat. That is one of the problems with the concentrated detergent packets. It has burned the lungs and throat of other children and some children have been placed on ventilators for days.

If you think your child may have swallowed some of a laundry or dish detergent pod, you need to call poison control immediately.

More information: Warning about concentrated packets of laundry detergent