NHS helpline 111; NHS website-England/Wales; Scotland
Toddlers tend to put almost everything into their mouth, that’s how they explore the world. This can also happen when they get hold of a liquid laundry detergent capsule. If a child bites into a liquid laundry detergent capsule, the water-soluble film that contains the detergent may break. At this point the capsule can release its content. This can lead to severe vomiting or irritation, and thus can hurt the child. This is because the detergent is very concentrated. In fact, a single small liquid laundry detergent capsule contains the full amount of detergent ingredients for one wash load. The detergent liquid inside the capsules is twice as ‘strong’ as a conventional concentrated liquid laundry detergent.
If a child has ingested content of a liquid laundry detergent capsule, a little or a lot, with or without apparent health effects, always call the poison control centre or seek medical advice. Quite likely, ingesting the detergent will make your child vomit. Depending on how much was swallowed, the vomiting can be really heavy and it can recur during several hours. But if your child is not vomiting, don’t try to force this.
If a capsule is broken, the content may get into the child’s eyes, or it could leak onto the skin. This may cause severe irritation. The first thing to do is to rinse cautiously with water, for several minutes. This is important to fully remove the detergent. You should also call the poison control centre or seek medical advice.
When you contact medical caregivers, they will need information about what happened, about the product and the patient, so they can give the right treatment advice: