Kentucky Injury Lawyers

Injuries Caused by Laundry Detergent Pods on the Rise

Published on Sep 14, 2015 at 8:02 pm in Child Injury, Product Liability.

Single-use liquid laundry detergent packets, commonly referred to as “pods”, were introduced to the U.S. market in 2010. They’re convenient to use since each pod contains enough highly-concentrated detergent to wash an average load of laundry. Nothing needs to be measured out, and the surrounding material dissolves in water. Despite the convenience of these pods, they’re potentially dangerous. Due to their small size, spongy texture, and bright, multi-colored appearance, children can be prone to thinking they are candy. Serious health complications and even death can result from exposure to these pods.

According to an alert issued by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, over 11,000 calls were made to poison control centers around the nation regarding children and even adults who placed the pods in their mouths and/or were otherwise exposed in 2014. This number is significantly higher than in past years. From the period of January 1, 2015 to July 31, 2015, there have already been over 7,000 calls made. This information suggests that the general public needs to be made more aware of how dangerous the pods can be.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, at least seven adults and children have died from biting into the pods and ingesting the liquid inside. Since the detergent is more concentrated in these pods than when found in standard bottles of detergent, the pods are extremely dangerous when bitten directly into. Exposure of the liquid to the eyes and skin can also be problematic. The most common symptoms of laundry detergent exposure include vomiting, choking, coughing, nausea, drowsiness, lethargy, and eye/skin irritation.

The rising concern of laundry detergent poisoning has caused lawmakers in Washington D.C. to take action. In February 2015, the U.S. House and Senate passed multiple bills directing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish and enforce safety standards for liquid detergent pods. Legislation specifically noted that the product’s manufacturers should apply better warning labels, change the composition of the product to make consequences of exposure less severe, and change the color and design of the pods to make them less attractive to young children who may mistake them for candy.

Two of the most popular brands of laundry detergent pods are Sun Products Corp.’s All Mighty Pacs and Procter & Gamble’s Tide Laundry Pods. While both manufacturers have changed their product containers to be more opaque to discourage children from seeing the brightly colored pods from outside the packaging, most of the above safety standards have not been addressed. Both manufacturers currently have multiple lawsuits pending regarding cases where children and adults have died and/or been severely injured from exposure to the pods.

With these open lawsuits, litigators and family members alike hope to let laundry detergent pod manufacturers know that drastic changes need to be made. Harsher warning labels should be placed on the product. The pods themselves could be made less dangerous; they could be made larger, for example, and contain a diluted solution that makes the detergent not quite so concentrated. Finally, the pods need to be redesigned and recolored. Potentially dangerous substances shouldn’t look like something found in a novelty candy store.

These lawsuits also draw attention to the multiple cases of injury and death. When the general public is aware of such cases, they become more aware of the potential dangers of these products. Families are more likely to place these products out of reach of children or buy another type of detergent instead. More public attention also helps ensure the manufacturers will make changes to the products in order to make them safer.

If you or anyone you know has experienced an injury related to single-load laundry detergent pods, now is the perfect time to help spread awareness and make sure the product manufacturers do what’s right. Children’s lives should not be put at risk. Your family deserves to be compensated. Thomas Law Offices is currently offering assistance to anyone who may have been affected by this. Feel free to contact us anytime with questions or concerns.

Dangerous Hospital for Babies

Published on Jul 5, 2015 at 4:09 pm in Child Injury, Medical Malpractice.

St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida is being evaluated after 9 babies died in the last four years after having heart surgery there. CNN calculated the raw mortality rate from 2011-2013 to be 12.5 percent, which is more than three times the national averages for such surgeries. Doctors affiliated with Children’s Medical Services have recommended the hospital stop operating on infants under six months old.

In 2011, St. Mary’s began its cardiovascular program. In that time the nine deaths, plus one infant who was left with paralyzed legs, has led doctors and state officials to question the viability of the program. The primary complaint from doctors in regard to this issue is that the hospital doesn’t perform enough of these procedures on an annual basis to become proficient. Most programs have more than 100 cases per year, whereas St. Mary’s has much fewer. But the Department of Health does not have the authority to make any changes to the program that could improve the mortality rate.

Should You Let Your Kids Use “Floaties”?

Published on Jul 3, 2014 at 8:00 am in Child Injury.

Floatie Safety KidsFloaties, a nickname for the inflatable armbands, can be fun, but they will not keep a child safe in the water as they can easily pop or slip off. The main thing to keep in mind about floaties is that they should be considered toys, and not safety devices. Additionally, most swim experts say that overuse of floaties can hinder a child’s ability to learn to swim on their own.

Are Floaties Safe to Use?

They can be fun in the water, but as with other water toys, if they pop or slip off and your child doesn’t know how to swim, they are no good. ALWAYS have an adult nearby a child using floaties.

Keeping Kids Safe at Public Pools

Published on Jun 23, 2014 at 8:34 am in Child Injury.

As summer weather approaches, your kids will be playing at neighborhood pools and taking swim lessons. If your children swim at a recreation center supervised by a lifeguard, or by you, that’s a good step toward ensuring their safety. Here are few other safety areas you should be aware of:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) started a “Pool Safely” campaign in 2010 in an attempt to reduce child drowning and non-fatal submersions. One factor the CPSC stresses is that “adult supervision at all aquatic venues is a critical safety factor in preventing children from drowning.” You shouldn’t assume that children who know how to swim might not still be at risk for drowning without monitoring.

Watch for Pool and Spa Drain Entrapments

The CPSC also points out that in addition to regular drowning concerns, parents need to be aware of the dangers from drain entrapments in swimming pools and spas. A federal act promoting drain safety was passed to memorialize a girl who drowned after being trapped by the suction from a drain at the bottom of a spa.

Keep your Backyard Pool Safe

Published on Jun 20, 2014 at 8:30 am in Child Injury.

Swimming Pool AccidentsKeeping your backyard pool safe is a concern for all pool owners. Your concerns can be heightened if you have small children. Of course, you will want to fence the yard or pool to discourage unwanted visitors, but here are steps you can take to keep your family and guests safe.

Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death in children under the age of 15. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the primary cause of drowning for children ages 1-4 is home swimming pools. Three of the main causes of drowning are:

  • Lack of Swimming Ability: Research shows that formal swimming lessons can lessen the drowning risk for children aged 1 to 4 years.
  • Lack of Barriers: Barriers, such as fences, prevent children from getting to the pool area without caregivers being aware. One good idea is to construct your fence so it isolates the pool from your house and yard, which can reduce a child’s risk of drowning by 83%.