Consumer product manufacturers always seem to be striving to produce products that are easier to use, are more visually appealing and are improved from previous designs in some way. This kind of innovation often benefits consumers directly. However, new product design models can also harm consumers if these designs are not properly thought-out.
In recent years, both dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent have received a makeover. Instead of compelling the consumer to measure out the correct amount of liquid or dried detergent, manufacturers have placed these substances in single-use pods. These capsules are convenient, visually appealing and often work even better than traditional detergents. Unfortunately, their appealing and easy-to-handle packaging is proving to be quite hazardous to young children.
Young children find these single-use capsules to be visually appetizing. As a result, approximately 10,000 American children were problematically exposed to the capsules’ inner contents in the past year alone, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Most often, children perceive the pods to be candy-like and either try to open the pods, consume their contents or both.
Though measures have been taken to make the containers in which these pods are sold more difficult for children to open, it is still important for parents to keep these pods out of the reach of young kids. When children ingest these cleaning pods, they can suffer serious breathing difficulties and other complications. As convenient as these pods are, they are also hazardous and must be stored safely and with care.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “Safety Experts Raise Concern Over Popular Laundry Packs,” Serena Ng, Nov. 18, 2013