A growing number of toddlers are inadvertently swallowing liquid detergent capsules, known as LiquitabsArchives of Childhood Diseases

Laundry and dishwasher detergent Liquitabs should have childproof packaging and better safety warnings, after several reports have come in of young children swallowing contents of the capsules



“To help prevent future potentially life threatening injuries, improved safety warnings and childproof packaging are urgently required.”

issued a warning to parents to make sure they kept the single dose packs of laundry detergent well out of the reach of children

  • A 20-month old toddler swallowed a detergent capsule. Within ten minutes the child vomited profusely, wheezed, gasped for air and passed out. The patient became unresponsive even to painful stimuli.

  • A 15-month old child who had swallowed a mouthful of detergent liquid after biting into a capsule had to be rushed to hospital and put on a ventilator.

  • A 17-month old child bit into a capsule and then became very drowsy, vomited, inhaled the product into the lungs, and had to be placed on a ventilator.

“The rapid onset of significant symptoms is pretty scary. Other laundry detergents cause only mild stomach upset or even no symptoms at all. Although we aren’t certain what in the product is making the children sick, we urge all parents and caregivers to make sure laundry detergent packs are not accessible to young kids.”

  • Lock detergents away. Make sure they are out of the reach of children
  • Follow the disposal instructions on the label carefully
The Lancet informed of the danger posed by liquid tablet forms of washing detergents being a new household risk for kids