MINNEAPOLIS, MN (CBS/WCCO) -- In the short time they've been on the market, sales of laundry-detergent pods have soared. But the CDC says some children may be mistaking these colorful chemicals for candy. In Minnesota alone, Poison Control says it's received 128 calls about the pods since February. Doctors say that number is going up every month.
Raniyah Avent, 1, is happy and playful now. But that was not the case on Aug. 28, when she swallowed a Purex Ultra Pack laundry pod. Angela Avent rushed her daughter to the hospital. She says, "They said if I would have waited any amount of time, that I might not have my baby right now, that's how bad her throat was closed up." They had to put Raniyah on life support.
Doctors say laundry Pods can cause more serious health complications than bottled detergent because they are more concentrated. Dr. David Blackwell says, "It's causing wheezing, its causing some times aspirations that makes them sleepy where they don't want to breath, or cant breath on their own."
Minnesota poison control says cases like Raniyah's are growing. Debbie Anderson with poison control says, "We're averaging about 13 cases a month, calls started coming in late spring and they've picked up pace as the summer has gone up."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases nationwide are up and most involve children six and younger. Blackwell says, "It looks like candy, little mints and they're squishy, they're fun to play with."
Anderson says, "Parents should treat this just like any other chemical, it should be put out of sight, up high and locked up."
Little Riniyah was lucky. She pulled through but her mother's not taking any risks. Angela says, "I'm grateful that she's here, I'm just really grateful , because she didn't know if she'd really be here or not."