An autopsy of a 7-month-old Florida boy has confirmed that his death was the result of poisoning after ingesting a laundry detergent packet, the Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner’s office announced.
The infant, Michael Williams, was coughing when paramedics arrived at the battered woman’s shelter where the boy was staying with his mother last August. Distraught, the mother claimed she had stepped away from the baby while he slept in bed. When she returned, he was eating laundry detergent packets provided by the shelter, which she had placed in a laundry basket in the bed next to the boy.
Shelter staff helped remove the detergent pods from the little boy’s mouth and clear away the phlegm in his mouth, but the damage had already been done. Emergency responders rushed him to the hospital where he later died.
Michael’s death is thought to be the first linked to the popular laundry detergent packets. Consumer groups and poison control centers have warned the public that the pods are toxic. However, they are packaged so that they are appealing to young children, who easily mistake them for candy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking detergent packet poisonings in 2012 after receiving a startling number of reports of lethargy, difficulty breathing and prolonged vomiting in children after ingesting the pods.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is working with the industry to make the packets less attractive to young children. Some companies, such as Procter & Gamble, have changed the packaging of their laundry detergent pods with the goal of making them less attractive to curious children.
Source: Orlando Sentinel