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The Dangerous Tide Pod Challenge - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Teens Eating Washing Tablets

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By Carlos Gamino

Teens aren’t necessarily known for their good judgement, and it seems like every few months we see a new – and usually pretty dangerous – craze sweeping the internet. 

This time it’s Tide laundry detergent pods.

Teens all over the country are putting the pods, which are full of toxic-if-ingested chemicals, in their mouths, drinking the liquid, and even cooking with them.

One teen told BuzzFeed that she heard about the challenge on Whatsapp and decided to participate. Her mother found out and made her take the video down, but the girl said, “I wasn’t scared because I knew I wasn’t going to swallow it. Just bite into it. And I washed my mouth out for quite some time afterwards.”

The kids don’t seem to understand why it’s so dangerous, although Tide issued this warning: “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use our products. Our laundry packs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they're used safely in millions of households every day. They should only be used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children.”

The fad can be life-threatening. According to Dr. Alfred Aleguas, Jr., the managing director of the Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa, swallowing even a tiny amount can cause serious diarrhea and vomiting – and if the detergent makes its way into someone’s lungs, breathing problems can follow. “Ending up in the emergency room is no joke,” said Aleguas.

What Do You Think?
​Why are kids trying such ridiculous – and dangerous – things? What would you do if you found your child posting a video of him- or herself eating a Tide pod online, or even entertaining the idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts, as well as ideas on what we can do to prevent crazes like this from ever taking hold, so please share what you think on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino