15:51 06 September 2012
Doctors from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow are concerned for the safety of children if they ingest liquitabs, as the chemicals used in them can be harmful.
With five cases of toddlers swallowing laundry and dishwasher liquitabs in the last 18 months, aged between 10 months and two years, Doctors are saying they could be packaged better.
Doctor Lyndsay Fraser has commented on the situation, as quoted by the Mail Online: “What we have seen more recently is that children are biting into the tablets, presumably because they think they are sweets as they have the same soft texture and bright colouring.”
Childproof containers are presumed a sensible option to reduce the risk of toddlers suffering life-threatening injuries, as the chemicals used in liquitabs can cause damage to their throats.
It is understood in some cases, those who ingested the capsule containing the detergent needed help to breathe, as their airways became swollen.
“To help prevent future potentially life-threatening injuries, improved safety warnings and childproof packaging are urgently required,” Dr Fraser told The Telegraph.
However, she added: "Parents also have a vital role to play in ensuring these products are stored safely at all times.”
The idea is that the soft plastic capsule offers an easy and clean product which can be used in the dishwasher or washing machine.
The Director General of the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association, Philip Malpass, has stated that approximately 850m liquitabs are sold in the UK annually which means there is only one incident per million.
"The most effective thing to do is to keep them out of reach of children," he advised, as quoted by The Telegraph.
A letter has been published in the medical journal Archives of Diseases in Childhood to alert medics and parents to the danger.
It is understood The National Poisoning Information Service received nearly 4,000 online enquires concerning liquitabs between 2009 to 2010, and that liquitabs are thought to be the most common household product swallowed accidentally.
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