HealthDay News — Young children are suffering vision-threatening burns from the chemicals inside liquid laundry detergent pods in increasing numbers, according to a research letter published online February 2 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

R. Sterling Haring, DO, MPH, from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues used data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to look for eye injuries caused by chemical burns or conjunctivitis among 3- to 4-year-olds between 2010 and 2015. 

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Between 2012 and 2015, 1,210 preschoolers in the United States suffered eye burns from laundry detergent pods. In 2012, only 12 such burns were reported. By 2015, that number was 480. Injuries most often occur when children play with the detergent pods and they break and the liquid squirts into their eyes. Burns also happen when children get the soap on their hands and then touch their eyes, Haring told HealthDay.

As a proportion of all chemical burns to the eye among children, burns from these liquid laundry pods rose from 0.8% in 2012 to 26% in 2015, Haring said. “Laundry detergent pods are playing a large and growing role in chemical eye burns among small children,” he added.

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