DALLAS (AP) -- Poison control centers across the United States are reporting a rise in cases of children swallowing laundry detergent packets.
The tiny, brightly colored packets are marketed as a way to get rid of the mess that comes with bulky bottles and boxes. But doctors say children can confuse the packets with candy.
Dr. Michael Beuhler of the Carolinas Poison Center says nearly 250 exposures have been reported nationwide this year -- a figure that is steadily rising. Texas has reported 71 exposures.
Dallas toxicologist Dr. Kurt Kleinschmidt says patients who swallow the packets often show more serious symptoms than traditional detergent incidents. He says he considers the packets more dangerous.
A spokesman for Tide, which introduced its Pods in March, says all cleaning products need to be handled carefully.
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