Safety alert regarding detergent packs

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Safety concerns for children have also increased with more than 20 thousand calls to poison control centers since the packets went mainstream in 2012.

Alex Rohde is much better now, but it was touch and go just nine months ago after he bit into a Tide detergent pod from a package that had just been brought home from the store.

"He had so much diarrhea and so much throw-up coming out of his mouth. It was horrible. It was bad And when he turned blue, I would say, was probably the scariest part. Except for the part when he quit breathing," mother, Alexa Rohde said.

His mother says Alex got the pod when one rolled under some furniture after the lid of the package popped open spilling all of them on the floor. Alex was airlifted to the hospital and ended up on a ventilator for seven days. Consumer Reports says the candy-colored packets contain highly-concentrated detergent that is toxic to ingest.

"One big issue here is with the packaging. Now when these products first came out, some of the biggest manufacturers used clear containers that resembled snack jars," Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports said.

And some of their lids were flimsy and not designed to deter children. Costco made the switch to an opaque container for its Kirkland detergent and has improved the lids. Procter and Gamble, the maker of Tide, has also introduced an opaque container with a child resistant lid.

"Another important change we think manufacturers should make: redesign the packets themselves so that they don't look like candy," Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports said.

At home, the most important precaution - keep the containers closed and out of the reach of children. If you think your child has been injured, do as Michelle did and call the poison control hotline immediately at 1-800-222-1222. Another reason to think twice about single-use detergent pack - none are recommended in Consumer Reports' latest ratings, in part because they didn't do as well as some other detergents in its new cool water test.