Eye injuries from laundry detergent packets spike among children

In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, laundry detergent packets are held for a photo, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(WOOD) — For years, manufacturers have been warning parents about the dangers of children eating laundry detergent pods that may look like candy. Now there’s a new concern: their eyes.

Children can easily squeeze and burst a detergent packet, squirting the concentrated chemicals in their eyes, which can lead to vision loss. Statistics from 2012 to 2015 back up the problem.

“The number of eye injuries among small children aged 3 to 4 due to these laundry detergent pods increased significantly … from almost none … to almost 500 per year,” said Dr. R. Sterling Haring of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

If a child’s eye is exposed to detergent, doctors say parents should immediately get the child’s eye under cool running water and leave it there for at least 20 minutes.

More than 85 percent of these injuries happened at home. The best step parents can take: store the detergent packets somewhere your children can’t reach.