Laundry detergent packets

Learn how laundry detergent packets can be dangerous to children. Also find information on how to safely store these packets.

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Health risks of laundry detergent packets

Because laundry detergent packets are small and often brightly coloured, children can mistake them for food or toys. This can lead to a child swallowing the laundry detergent packet, which can cause:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • coughing and choking
  • breathing troubles
  • stomach pain

A laundry detergent packet can also burst in a child's hand with only a small amount of pressure. The packet's membrane can dissolve quickly with moisture. Contact with the contents of a laundry detergent packet can cause:

  • rashes
  • skin irritation
  • eye irritation

Similar products, like dishwasher detergent packets, could pose the same risks.

Keep your children safe from laundry detergent packets

You can help prevent a serious injury involving laundry detergent packets by:

  • keeping them safely stored out of sight and reach of children
  • reading the label and following instructions before use
  • using them with dry hands

What to do if your child has come in contact with laundry detergent packets

If you think your child has been harmed by contact with a laundry detergent packet, immediately call:

You can find phone numbers for the Poison Control Centre nearest you:

  • at the front of your local telephone book
  • by searching the Internet for a Poison Control Centre by province or territory
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