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Posted: January 21, 2018

'Tide Pod Challenge': Georgia teen among those sickened in dangerous trend

‘Tide Pod Challenge’ On Social Media Alarms Doctors, Parents Warned

By WSBTV.com

ATLANTA —

Don’t do the Tide Pod Challenge. Seriously.

>> Watch the news report here

That’s the message poison control officials are urging people after a bizarre trend spread like wildfire online.

The challenge involves people popping the small laundry detergent packs in their mouths and posting videos online of themselves chewing and gagging on the oozing product.

Dozens of people have been taken to the hospital after doing the challenge. 

>> Doctors warn parents about dangerous 'Tide Pod Challenge'

Dr. Gaylord Lopez, the director of Georgia's Poison Control Center, confirmed to WSB-TV that the center has handled one case involving a teen.

“This year, we had a call about a 13-year-old. In fact, it was the mother who called us because the kid was getting sick and vomiting,” Lopez said.

While there's only been one confirmed “Tide Pod Challenge” case in Georgia, Lopez said this is a good reminder about the dangers of detergent pods in general.

There are still hundreds of children under the age of 5 getting sick from them.

“When you’ve got a young child picking up a packet, like I have in my hand, thinking it might be candy or food, you could see why kids are attracted to them,” Lopez said.

>> Read more trending news 

Lopez also wants parents to be aware of the latest social media craze.

“Parents need to know that if their young teens are getting into them, they can easily have problems ranging from just mild upset of the stomach to this stuff getting into their lungs and causing far more problems,” Lopez said.

Last week, YouTube and Facebook announced they are removing “Tide Pod Challenge” videos from their sites.


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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Doctors warn parents about dangerous 'Tide Pod Challenge'

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Doctors warn parents about dangerous 'Tide Pod Challenge'

File photo. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Doctors warn parents about dangerous 'Tide Pod Challenge'

A bizarre new trend dubbed the “Tide Pod Challenge” is gaining popularity among teens on social media — and doctors say it could land them in the emergency room.

>> Read more trending news

The challenge involves people popping the small laundry detergent packs and posting videos of themselves chewing and gagging on the oozing product online.

Videos with the title “Tide Pod Challenge” have been shared to YouTube. In some videos, teens are putting the pods in frying pans and cooking them before consuming them.

Memes have erupted all over social media.

Someone even came up with an edible Tide pod recipe.

Tide Pods are meant to be used for laundry as an alternative to powder or liquid detergent.

The silly concept of consuming the product first garnered attention in 2015 when the satirical newspaper The Onion published a column about a child who wanted to eat the red and blue detergent pod, which has a candy-like appearance.

Two years later, College Humor shared a video of a man eating an entire bowl of laundry pods and then being carted off into an ambulance. “I don’t regret it,” he said.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were more than 10,500 reported exposures to highly concentrated laundry detergent by children age 5 and younger in 2017.

If someone swallows a small amount of the concentrated detergent in the pods, it could result in diarrhea and vomiting. And it can even creep into the lungs and burn the respiratory tract, making it incredibly difficult to breathe, Dr. Alfred Aleguas Jr., managing director of the Florida Poison Information Center told USA Today.

The D.C.-based not-for-profit National Capital Poison Center reported that biting into a pod can cause “serious injury or even death.” Rubbing the product into the eyes can make the eyes burn, too.

If a product gets in the eye, rinse immediately with plenty of water for 15 minutes and seek medical advice as needed.

If a product is swallowed, drink a glass of water or milk and contact the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) or doctor immediately. Do not induce vomiting.

Following these laundry safety steps will help keep your home as safe as possible. Know what to do before unintended exposure happens. Read the product safety information provided on the package.”

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