Washing tablets can potentially cause serious injury to children

In the latest in potential product liability claims there have been concerns raised by the possible risk of injury posed the washing tablets.

When you put your dirty washing into the washing machine or your dirty dishes into the dishwasher, the last thing you would think about is the dangers of the liquid tablets which you put into the machines to make everything sparkly and clean.

National warnings have been distributed across the country warning of the dangers of these various liquid tablets after some children have been treated for being exposed to these chemicals and suffering severe personal injuries in the forms of chemical burns, internally and externally, and irritation and swelling to various parts of their body. There have also been reports of some near fatal injuries from ingesting the tablets.

It can easily be seen why children are attracted to the liquid tablets as the tablets are small and colourful and could easily be mistaken for a sweet or toy. The tablets are also normally in see-through packaging making it easy to see them. The unsuspecting children, who play with these tablets are putting them in their mouths and biting them, tearing them opening and exposing the dangerous chemicals inside.

Once the chemicals are ingested there is possibility of swelling in the throat which causes severe breathing difficulties. There have been reports of some children having to be put on a ventilator for up to two weeks until the swelling subsides.

The packaging which the liquid tablets come in, are not completely child-proof which means that most curious minors will be able to open up the container and in turn open themselves up to risk. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 deals with the safety of products and product liability in the UK and how products are deemed safe for distribution in the UK. In terms of this legislation, the producer (who actually made the product), the person selling the product, the importers or anyone in the supply chain could be held liable for breach of this Act.

Reports have now been published in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood to alert everybody of the dangers of liquid tablets.

Many parents are not fully aware of the dangers which household products pose when exposed and more importantly when their children are exposed. A simple bottle of bleach or cleaning detergent could causes their child severe injuries or chemical burns which could quite simply have been avoided. Parents are urged to keep all household chemicals firmly locked away and out of reach of their minor children.

Should you suspect your child to have eaten or been exposed to these chemicals, you should take your child to the nearest A&E for assessment.

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