Kids Looking for Treats Are Not Only Getting Tricked, They’re Burning Their Eyes

BACKGROUND: They’re colorful and eye-catching, but when these popular detergent “pods” catch the eye of young children, they can cause serious eye damage.

UT Medicine ophthalmologists at University Hospital have seen a string of children with corneal burns after “pods” were chewed or squeezed until they broke open. Since the chemicals inside the plastic packets have extreme ranges of pH levels, any liquid that squirts up into the eye can easily cause burns and scars on the cornea. The cornea can also turn white permanently.

When tested, the pods are often found to have a pH level more dangerous than acid. Long-term effects include tearing, severe dryness, glaucoma, vision loss, or the need for reconstructive surgery. Treatment includes immediate irrigation, and is best done in the ER where the pH can be measured and neutralized.

WHO: Dr. Jorge Montes (bilingual), Department of Ophthalmology, UT Health Science Center San Antonio

WHAT: Warning about the dangers of detergent pods and children’s eyes

WHEN: Friday, October 24 at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: University Hospital, First floor Corporate Communications, 4502 Medical Drive (limited media parking available at the main entrance)

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