'Tide Pod Challenge': What you need to know about this dangerous new fad

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

In a new viral ‘challenge’ making the rounds online, teens have been putting laundry soap pods in their mouths and posting videos on social media.

It started as a joke, but doctors are warning that the so-called “Tide Pod Challenge” could be extremely dangerous – even fatal.

Ingredients in the pods include ethanol, hydrogen peroxide and polymers – a highly-toxic mix. The pods are designed to dissolve when wet, so even putting them in one’s mouth can be risky.

Manufacturers had been concerned about toddlers ingesting the pods, which look like candy. Last year, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reported more than 10,000 exposures to the pods by children under the age of 5.

Already in 2018, there’s been a steep rise in the number of cases of teens misusing the laundry packets, with AAPCC reporting 40 cases in the last week-and-a-half “of which around half were intentionally ingested.”

The Poison Control Center says to drink a full glass of water or milk if a pod is ingested, and to contact a doctor immediately.