Poison Center issues warning about "Tide Pod Challenge" and other viral internet challenges

The Nebraska Regional Poison Center wants parents to know about a dangerous trend known as the "Tide Pod Challenge" and recommends having a discussion with their children on the dangers of this challenge.

The Tide Pod Challenge is popular on social media showing videos and memes of teens and young adults putting laundry packets into their mouths. Calls to the nation’s poison centers regarding ingestions in this age group are starting to increase.

The NRPC said they've received three calls from people in their service area after someone ingested a Tide Pod. Only one of the three had poisonous symptoms.

In recent years, poison centers have received calls on the salt/ice challenge and the cinnamon challenge. The NRPC said the new disturbing Tide Pod Challenge has gained steam across the U.S. This has prompted YouTube, the Google-owned video streaming service to remove the videos from their site.

In 2017, poison control centers received reports of more than 10,500 exposures to highly concentrated packets of laundry detergent by children ages 5 and younger, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Ingestion of packets has caused coma, seizures, respiratory arrest and death. Manufacturers of the packets have sought to combat these ingestions by making changes to the packaging and some have added a bitter-tasting agent to the outer coating. These changes, along with public education provided by poison centers across the country, have resulted in a decrease in calls to poison centers.

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