A Kissimmee toddler is dead after eating a pod of laundry detergent. The boy was at ashelter for battered women at the time of the incident, according to Kissimmee Police.
Police spokesman Capt. Warren Shepard said the boy was taken to the hospital on Friday afternoon "in some distress." He was pronounced dead about an hour later.
The Florida Department of Children and Families released a statement that said they have had prior history with the family of the boy. According to DCF, nearly two dozen children die each year in Florida from accidental poisoning.
"It reminds all of us as parents the dangers of leaving household cleaning supplies around our little ones. Unfortunately, on average we lose 20 children each year to accidental poisoning in the state of Florida," said DCF Spokeswoman TerriDurdaller.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned parents to be careful with those little single-load packets, since some may have toxic chemicals.
Dr. Cynthia Lewis-Younger with the Florida Poison Control Center said thedetergent pods look so much like candy, that they can be extremely dangerous.
"Most of the children will only taste or lick the pod and they'll be OK,but if you get a lot of it, if the child is small, they may end up in thehospital."
Dr. Lewis-Younger said parents should pay close attention to where theseproducts are stored if they are used at all.
"If you're going to have them in a home with a young child, these shouldbe locked in a high place. However, I recommend that they not be purchased andused in the home where there's children below the age of 5."
Poison Control should be called right away if a child ingests laundry soap,especially from a pod.
Kissimmee Police and the DCF are refusing to releasemuch information on this case, because it is an ongoing investigation. Theywill not say which women's shelter was involved and have not released the nameof the mother.
"We continue to work with law enforcement as the investigation moves forward into the circumstances surrounding the poisoning," said Durdaller.