Online jokes about eating laundry pods concern doctors, poison control experts

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While many teens may view the craze as a lighthearted joke, doctors say that the trend can result in burns in the mouth, landing the challenger in the emergency room.

A series of videos posted online shows teenagers putting the brightly colored laundry detergent pods in their mouths or cooking them and then eating them.The origins of the fad are unclear but some are tracing it back to a 2015 parody article by The Onion and later stories about flavored detergent pods.

That's four years after Procter and Gamble chose to redesign its packaging to make it harder for children to access the pods. Memes showing the detergent pods on pizza or as a breakfast cereal have been popular on Twitter and other social media sites. The lure of Tide Pods, which look nearly like candy, broke into satirical conversations as early as 2015 when The Onion published column from the perspective of a child who.

Always keep detergent containers closed, sealed and stored up high, out of the reach of children.

Following reports of this social media trend, they have stepped out to warn the public about the dangers of such acts.

Previously children 5 and younger were considered to be most at risk; the small packets were sometimes mistaken for candy, and poison control centers received reports of more than 10,500 exposures to young children in 2017. Two of the deaths involved young children; eight involved seniors with dementia.

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How to store the pods. P&G, led by Tide, has more than an 80 percent share of the business, according to Bernstein Research.

Teenagers are using Tide Pods for the challenge.

Even with the changes, laundry pods should be kept away from children.

"Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use our products", says P&G spokeswoman Petra Renck.

Tide parent company Proctor and Gamble released a statement saying, "Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they're used safely in millions of households every day". "Our focus is simply on providing the facts".