Homewood grandmother demands changes to Tide detergent pods
October 8, 2013 (HOMEWOOD, Ill.) (WLS) -- A suburban grandmother whose grandson was hospitalized after mistaking laundry pods for candy is taking on the manufacturer. She started a petition demanding Proctor & Gamble change the way those pods are packaged.
Erica Johnson says she doesn't want what happened to her grandson to ever happen to another child and parents need to be educated about walking around with what she calls a ball of poison that could be deadly.
One-year-old Alexander Klienschmidt has spent the last 10 days in the intensive care unit in a Minnesota hospital after his family says he mistook these tide pods for candy.
The family of 15-mont-old Dakari Byrd says he did the same on September 15th.
"He started to turn blue, he got lethargic, then his chest filled with fluid," said Erica Johnson, grandmother.
For the first eight months of the year, there were more than 8,700 reports of these incidents-- about 450 more cases than all of 2012.
Erica Johnson is Dakari's grandmother and is now taking on the biggest makers of detergent pods, Proctor & Gamble. She is demanding they stop making their pods look like children's candy and wrap each pod in an individually.
She has started an online petition and so far has received 34,000 signatures.
"Having the extra layer of protection could prevent children like Dakari from getting at it, it would actually give parents a chance to intervene," said Johnson.
Proctor & Gamble has already changed its packing twice, most recently in July.
Some had complained that the old containers looked too much like candy jars.
The containers are no longer see through and warning labels have been increased.
Proctor & Gamble released a statement saying the company has no plans to make any additional changes and "we're confident in the positive impact of the many actions we've taken."
"Tide needs to do more," said Johnson.
Johnson says her grandson undergoes daily nebulizer treatments and has to visit a respiratory therapist regularly. She says since the product has been on the market for only two years, there is no data on long-term damage.
local, cheryl burton
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