Liquid Detergent Tablets a Danger to Kids

Sold in Europe, they can burst and splash into eyes

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FRIDAY, Aug. 12, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Liquid detergent tablets sold in Europe pose an eye injury risk to children, according to experts writing in the Aug. 13 issue of The Lancet.

Doctors at Children's University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, noted that over a six-month period, they had treated six children with alkali eye injuries caused by liquid detergent tablets. The children had squeezed the tablets, causing them to burst and spray detergent up into their eyes.

All the children were admitted to hospital where they were treated for two to five days. The damage to the children's eyes eventually healed, but the Irish experts say the injuries could have been more serious if the kids hadn't received prompt irrigation of the eyes after being splashed with the detergent.

"Alkali eye injuries are potentially the most severe form of chemical eye injury ... Although the detergent packaging displays a warning that the contents are irritant, and that the products should be kept out of reach of children, the real risk of injury posed may not be appreciated by consumers," the letter authors wrote.

"We propose that the warning label should be more obvious, and that the packaging should be modified to make it child-proof," they added in a prepared statement.

More information

Prevent Blindness America offers a home eye safety checklist.

SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, Aug. 11, 2005

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