Baby-proofing? Nix this risky item from your laundry room

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While you are baby-proofing your home in preparation for your little one’s arrival, consider looking beyond the stairs and light sockets. Each year, thousands of babies and young children are rushed to the emergency room after ingesting laundry soap pods. If you don’t keep your soaps locked up and out of reach, your laundry room could one day be a hazardous place for baby.

Why it’s a big deal

These pods, meant to make life easier, are great stand-ins for heavy and messy liquid soap containers. They’re small, concentrated and, as it turns out, really attractive to little hands and mouths. In 2012, poison control centers reported 17,000 ingestion cases. Of these instances, 6,000 were sent to the emergency room, 750 were ultimately hospitalized for greater care and 1 even resulted in a fatality.

A study published in the journal Pediatrics noted the difference between traditional liquid soaps and these laundry tabs. To ensure their efficacy, laundry pods must be highly concentrated. When curious tots go rifling through the laundry room, a taste of liquid soap isn’t all that harmful. They may experience vomiting, diarrhea and an upset stomach. But taking in one of these soap tablets, with their powerfully concentrated formulas, causes much more dangerous outcomes for kids.

The bottom line

The authors of the study cautioned parents away from buying these soap pods in an effort to eliminate another safety risk for kids. While you’re setting up the nursery and preparing your home for your new son or daughter, why not take an extra step and cross this item off your to-do list for later? At the end of the day, it never hurts to play it safe and be ready for your little one sooner rather than later.

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