Illinois sees surge in kids eating detergent packs

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Poison Center, like other poison control centers across the United States, is seeing a surge in reports of children swallowing laundry detergent packets.

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Poison Center, like other poison control centers across the United States, is seeing a surge in reports of children swallowing laundry detergent packets.

The Illinois center has received 26 calls on laundry detergent pods since the first report in early March.

Carol DesLauriers of the Illinois Poison Center says almost all the calls involve children 3 years old and younger.

The brightly colored packets are marketed as a way to get rid of the mess that comes with bulky bottles and boxes. But experts say children can confuse the packets with candy.

DesLauriers says the packets cause symptoms more often than other laundry detergents. Symptoms include vomiting, throat irritation and coughing.

Poison centers in other states have seen serious symptoms such as drowsiness, coma and respiratory difficulty.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

A warning label is attached to a package of Tide laundry detergent packets in Houston on Thursday, May 24, 2012. The miniature detergent packets arrived on store shelves in recent months, touted as a solution to bulky bottles and messy spills. But doctors across the country say children are confusing the tiny, brightly colored packets with candy and swallowing them. Nearly 250 cases have been reported to poison control centers. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

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