What Is 'Tide Pod Challenge'? Latest Social Media Craze Has Doctors Worried

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Teens are putting laundry pods into their mouths as part of the "Tide Pod Challenge", and if the contents are ingested, the results could land your child or teen in the hospital.

That's four years after Procter and Gamble chose to redesign its packaging to make it harder for children to access the pods.

A compilation video on YouTube shows a number of teenagers putting the pods in frying pans, pretending to cook them, before serving them up in a bowl.

The silly concept of consuming the product first garnered attention in 2015 when the satirical newspaper The Onion published a column about a child who wanted to eat the red and blue detergent pod, which has a candy-like appearance.

P&G replaced the original clear packaging with more opaque and harder-to open child-proof packages.

Recently, the public's inexplicable lust for the toxic cleaning supply has reached new levels, and doctors are now warning parents that the trend has gone from harmless fun to extremely risky.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were more than 10,500 reported exposures to highly concentrated laundry detergent by children age 5 and younger in 2017.

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Laundry pods are a $1.3 billion annual business that grew more than 12 percent a year ago as measured by Nielsen data that excludes online sales and some club stores.

The Tide Pod Challenge is not only the latest senseless trend that is making the rounds on the internet, but it is also very risky.

It goes without saying that laundry pods are not meant to be placed inside people's mouths, even if it is only a joke and the detergent is not actually ingested. Soon enough, the ideas turned into reality, giving birth to one of the social media's deadliest trends in the recent times.

Even with the changes, laundry pods should be kept away from children.

Read the product safety information provided on the package.

"Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes, and they're used safely in millions of households every day".

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