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Widener Univ. School of Law

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tide Pods and Children

Dan Monk at WCPO in Cincinnati has a story about Tide Pods.  Several companies, most notably Proctor & Gamble (maker of "Tide"), have made a single-load laundry package, designed to enhance the convenience of washing clothes.  Many of them are designed with colorful swirls.  Unfortunately, children seem to be attracted to the product and put it in their mouths.  There have been approximately 13,000 reports of such occurrences documented by poison control centers in the last 2 years.  The American Association of Poison Control Centers states there have been over 6,700 such poisoning cases involving children under 5 in the first 8 months of 2013.  P&G has been responsive by making the containers opaque and more difficult to open; additionally, they launched a public safety campaign.  

A Chicago grandmother, however, argues those precautions do not help prevent many accidents based on the use of this particular product.  Because of the product's convenience, many people take the package with them in their laundry baskets, allowing children access.  She started a Change.org petition asking P&G to individually wrap Tide Pods and change the warning label about what to do if a child does ingest a Pod.  She says she is not interested in suing, but only wants to enhance the safety of the product.  If someone were to sue, there is an obvious contributory/comparative negligence issue, and she acknowledges it.  She says she used to say it is the care giver's responsibility to keep the product away from children, but she was in the room when her grandson put the Pod in his mouth.  She states, "If you blink for a second, the baby can get it in their mouth."

--CJR

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2013/10/tide-pods-and-children.html

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