Kids Confusing Colorful Detergent Packets for Candy

South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer

Miniature laundry detergent packets, which serve as an alternative to the regular heavy bottles, have been more popular recently than liquid detergent and stores have began to stock them on their shelves. But doctors across the country say children are confusing the tiny, brightly colored packets with candy and swallowing them, according to Fox News.

Parents say the small packets resemble little candies and if left on a low shelf in a laundry room, or on the counter, young children may confuse them for a sweet treat.

Nearly 250 cases have been reported this year to poison control centers.

Tide, Purex and other detergent manufacturers introduced different versions of the packets earlier this year. The lightweight, colorfully swirled plastic packets contain a single-use amount of detergent that dissolves in water.

CBN reported one woman heard her daughter saying, “Candy, candy,” and simply assumed she had found some candy lying around the house. Moments later her daughter was violently vomiting.

Experts aren’t sure what’s in the packets that can make a child so sick, but recommend parents keep the packets out of reach of children in case of confusion.

If your child does ingest a detergent packet, call your poison control center immediately. 


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), every day, nearly 87 people die as a result of unintentional poisoning; another 2,277 are treated in emergency departments.  In fact, unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States increased by 160% from 1999 to 2009.

The CDC offers the following tips to help keep young children safe from poisoning:

Be Prepared

  • Keep the poison help number, 1-800-222-1222, handy.  The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Be Smart about Storage

  • Store all medicines and household products out of reach and out of sight from children.
  • When you are taking or giving medicines or are using household products:
    • Do not put your next dose on the counter or table where children can reach them—it only takes seconds for a child to get them.
    • If you have to do something else while taking medicine, such as answer the phone, take any young children with you.
    • Secure the child safety cap completely every time you use a medicine.
    • After using them, do not leave medicines or household products out.  As soon as you are done with them,  put them away and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
    • Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home. Ask guests to store drugs where children cannot findthem.  Children can easily get into pillboxes, purses, backpacks, or coat pockets.
    • Don’t ever refer to medicine as candy.

Question about this article?  Contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC.  803.252.4800.