Don’t eat laundry detergent.
This is a warning now being issued by Procter and Gamble and medical experts after videos have gone viral of teens attempting to eat Tide Pods and even cooking with them, according to USA Today and other news outlets.
The so-called “Tide Pod Challenge” includes teens posing with the pods in their mouths, running the risk of poisoning or burning themselves even with a small exposure. Multiple videos have been posted of teens putting a Tide Pod in their mouth and chewing it, according to AOL News.
Previously children 5 and younger were considered to be most at risk; the small packets were sometimes mistaken for candy, and poison control centers received reports of more than 10,500 exposures to young children in 2017.
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That’s four years after Procter and Gamble decided to redesign its packaging to make it harder for children to access the pods. Two years ago, Consumer Reports stopped recommending the convenience laundry pods due to the danger of poisoning.
“Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes,” Tide said in a statement to USA Today. “They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if meant as a joke.”
The exposure can cause chemical burns to skin, eyes, severe burns to the respiratory tract and esophagus, a medical official told Fox WXIN.
The Illinois Poison Control Hotline number is 800-222-1222.