The social media trend known as the “Tide Pod Challenge” has made its way into our area.
Jacksonville-area poison control centers are getting more calls than ever about teenagers eating the laundry pods this year.
“We definitely started seeing an increase in these calls at the beginning of the year,” said Emily Jaynes Winograd, Clinical Toxicologist at UF Health’s Poison Control Center.
Florida’s Poison Control Centers have handled 14 calls so far this year strictly related to people ages 13-21 who have ingested laundry pods.
There were four of these calls in all of 2017.
And these are just the cases where poison control was called. There may plenty of other cases where the teen was treated without help or went straight to a doctor.
“I would imagine there are a lot of people who are participating who are not calling poison control,” said Winograd.
A teenager in Clay County was poisoned. So were two in Alachua County.
The idea is confusing to many people, like Dan Glanville, who has an 18-year-old grandson.
“It’s a little crazy,” he said. “Put them where they go, in the laundry.”
Toxicologists say it’s important for parents to communicate with their children about how dangerous the challenge can be.
“Nausea and vomiting are common depending on how much is ingested,” said Winograd. “And in more severe cases, if the detergent is actually inhaled, you can see significant repertory issues.”
Poison Control is available 24 hours a day. It can be reached at (800) 222-1222.
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