Deadly Tide Pod Challenge

Center for Injury Research and Policy

Bethany Cutkomp, Editor-In-Chief

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As internet trends swell in popularity, this particular fad is prone to fatal results. Dubbed the “Tide pod challenge,” videos of kids biting into brightly colored laundry detergent is going viral among social media.

The original concern was that young children would mistake the squishy, good-smelling, and vivid detergent capsules as candy. However, further concern arose when the pods attracted the attention of an older age group.

Recently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision tweeted a warning to its followers: “Please don’t eat laundry pods. Learn more ways to #preventpoison.”

Social media has spread jokes and memes declaring the detergent pods as “delicious” and “appetizing.” Soon after, kids decided to take the joke to another level. Children currently record themselves eating Tide pods and spitting them out for publicity and bragging rights.

While the laughter may be temporary, the harming physical effects may be long lasting. The laundry pouches contain ethanol and hydrogen peroxide, which will burn the mouth and stomach if ingested. Not only would it affect the digestive system and the respiratory system, but it also has the chance of entering the bloodstream and organs. The release of chemicals can be as quick as a few seconds.

Tasting the Tide pods can lead to unconsciousness, seizures, and even death.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, roughly about 11,000 cases of ingested Tide pods have been reported, and twenty-five percent of these cases have been intentional.

Yes, the trend may seem funny, but it is not worth riskinCenter for Injury Research and Policy
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