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Dangers of Liquitabs

Parents and grandparents are being warned about the dangers of leaving washing machine and dishwasher liquitabs within reach of children.

Doctors at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children are now treating an average of two youngsters a month, primarily under the age of four, who have squeezed or attempted to eat the tablets for chemical burns to their eyes or throats.

Elizabeth Lumsden, Scotland community safety manager for The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “It’s important to equip children with life skills that can help them make informed decisions to avoid common types of injuries.

“The home is where accidents are most likely to happen, so Go Safe Scotland is highlighting the potential risk from everyday objects like blind cords and liquitabs to children and parents. "There has been a recent rise in children biting into liquitabs, often in the mistaken belief that they are sweets due to the texture and bright colour.

“Chemicals in liquitabs cause an almost instant chemical burn, resulting in breathing problems due to the airway rapidly swelling.
"At the moment, most liquitab brands do not come packaged in child resistant containers so it is easy for children to access them especially if they are left within reach and sight.

"Most parents are not aware of the dangers of these common household items. Unfortunately, they are often stored in unlocked cupboards within easy reach of children. Cupboard catches can help delay children getting to these products, especially if they under the sink.

"It is important parents realise that these liquid capsules contain potentially dangerous chemicals and they should be kept locked away so children can't gain access to them.”

More advice and information on liquitabs is available on the RoSPA website.

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