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The maker of Tide Pods on Friday announced a short-term fix to the somewhat bizarre-sounding problem of kids eating the brightly colored laundry detergent capsules. (Bizarre-sounding to those of us without children, anyway.)
The Associated Press explains that Proctor & Gamble Co.'s plan to add a new double-latch lid to its Pod box comes in response to the nearly 250 reported cases this year of children swallowing Pods and similar laundry product after mistaking the roughly one-inch cubes for candy.
While the packaging solution is unlikely to end the confusion of sugar-craving children, the company hopes that it will prevent the kids from getting their hands on the detergent in the first place. P&G says it will roll out the double-latch lid in the coming weeks while it continues to study the design of the packaging for alternative solutions.
Poison control centers around the country began seeing a spike in reports of children ingesting the detergent capsules in March, when a number of companies began marketing the latest advance in laundry. Several children have been hospitalized for days after swallowing the detergent, but no deaths have been reported. The capsules have the potential to cause harsher symptoms than regular-old detergent ingestion because each packet contains a full load’s worth of the cleaning product.