Doctors warning parents about new "Tide pod" challenge fad

Teens Playing Dangerous Game

It all started back in 2015 when The Onion published column which was written from a perspective of a child wondering what it would be like to eat the red and blue-colored detergent Tide pods, which looked like sweets.

The Tide Pod Challenge requires participants to upload a video of themselves eating Tide Pods, which are small pods that contain laundry detergent. Ideas, and even dares about eating the pods followed on Reddit and Twitter.

Teens are putting laundry pods into their mouths as part of the "Tide Pod Challenge", and if the contents are ingested, the results could land your child or teen in the hospital.

It's a social media trend that could quickly turn deadly. And while most concerns center on the very young or the elderly, the latest trend with teens is troubling, according to Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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"Exposures to Laundry Packets, which are encased in a water-soluble membrane that can burst open, are typically highly concentrated compared to traditional laundry detergent and thus can have significantly more serious effects", AAPCC's statement warns.

The pods in question are the USA brand Tide Pods, that look just like candies as they come in an array of colours.

"They don't always have the comprehension at 13, 14, or 15 years old of lifelong consequences", said Dr. Karen Jenkins, medical director of the Piedmont Medical Center emergency department.

The trend started out as a joke, as the laundry pods look nearly like candy due to their colors.

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"A lot of people were just saying how stupid I was or how - why would I be willing to do that", he said.

Dr. Alfred Aleguas Jr. of the Florida Poison Information Center, said any amount of detergent from the pods that is swallowed can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

A spokesman said: 'Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they're used safely in millions of households every day.

The study also found that liquid capsules were far more harmful than powder ones and some children have even entered into a coma from ingesting them.

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