The Genesee County Health Department is warning parents to be careful with concentrated laundry detergent packets, better know as PODS.

The GCHD says poison control centers around the country have been reporting an increasing number of calls regarding children's exposure to the highly concentrated laundry detergent packets. Many of the single load laundry detergent packets are soft, colorful and may resemble candy which makes them appealing for young kids to put in their mouths. In the first nine months of 2013, poison control centers around the country have received over 7,600 calls reporting exposure to kids five and younger.

Unlike the exposure to regular liquid laundry detergent, which usually causes mild stomach upset, exposure to the PODS is causing more severe reactions including excessive vomiting, wheezing, and gasping. The experts at the GCHD urge parents and caregivers to:

  • Always keep detergents capped and locked up high, and out of the reach of children.
  • Follow the instructions on the product label.
  • Call your local poison control center at (800) 222-1222 immediately if you suspect a child has come in contact with this laundry detergent or any other poisonous substance.