Safety warning for parents over liquitab detergents

Small children can mistake liquitab style dishwasher and washing machine detergents for sweets and ingest them. We encourage families to keep chemical items such as laundry detergents and other products in a lockable cupboard.

Small children can mistake liquitab style dishwasher and washing machine detergents for sweets and ingest them. We encourage families to keep chemical items such as laundry detergents and other products in a lockable cupboard.

PRESS RELEASE: RoSPA Scotland supports NHS scheme to protect children from liquitabs. [12/09/2013]
RoSPA in Scotland is backing a move to reduce the number of Scottish children ending up in A&E after swallowing liquitabs. Find out more…

RoSPA would like to draw parents’ attention to the importance of storing chemical items such as laundry detergents in a lockable cupboard, out of the reach of children.

Some of the most serious accidents happen in the home, particularly in the kitchen, and RoSPA has been made aware of cases involving young children who have been injured after biting into or placing colourful liquitab detergents in their mouths, after mistaking them for sweets.

Liquitab detergents are an alternative to traditional powder, liquid or tablet style detergents used in washing machines and dishwashers. They are placed in the drum area of washing machines and in the "tablet" slot in dishwashers.

If used correctly, these products are completely safe and very effective, but it is important to stress that it is impossible to "childproof" the home – this is a dangerously misleading term implying that 100 per cent safety is achievable.

We were recently alerted to cases in which children were admitted to hospital in Glasgow as a result of the ingestion of liquid detergent from capsules. In addition to children swallowing detergent, doctors have also previously raised awareness of the risk of injury to young children who get liquid detergent in their eyes.

If children are affected by chemical products then medical treatment should be immediately sought.

Case Study

Juliet and Eva Turner

Juliet Turner and her daughter Eva

Mother Juliet Turner knows only too well the risk of liquitabs as her 15-month-old daughter Eva ended up in intensive care in 2013 after biting into a liquitab.

Juliet Turner, from Glasgow, said: "Although the liquitabs were in a box which a click-lid, Eva still managed to get into it. She bit into a liquitab but was sick straight away.

"I didn't want to take any chances as I had heard about how toxic liquitabs could be, so I took Eva to hospital where she was kept in intensive care overnight.

"It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life, so I think fitting cupboard catches is a great idea. They look easy to fix on to cupboards, and anything that will help keep children safe is worth it."

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