Internet challenges are always popping up. Some are helpful and spread awareness for specific causes like the “Ice Bucket Challenge“. While some penetrate the culture and see everybody from your best friend to presidential candidates taking part in them like the “Mannequin Challenge” and some are just plain stupid.
The latest challenge to make the news is dubbed the “Tide pod challenge” and see participants eat or ingest Tide laundry pods. Not surprisingly eating a Tide pod poses serious health-risk as the brand for years has made keepign it out of the hands of children a priority. Unfortunately now for Tide, they don’t just have to worry about infants – they have to worry about frat bros and youtube stars.
For the past week, there has been an uptake in people participating in the challenge – forcing Tide to make repeated statements that the pods are not for human consumption.
(Don’t watch the video below if you are easily grossed out)
Apparently teens are eating laundry pods in a new social media ‘challenge’ called the #TidePodChallenge – Medical experts say the consequences are dire. ARE MEMES TO BLAME?!? Online “memes” feature photos depicting the laundry pods as a pizza topping or breakfast cereal. Videos posted on Twitter appear to show people biting into the detergent pacs and spitting them out. Online users joke about how “tasty” the pods look… even calling them the “forbidden fruit.”
The New York Times is reporting, while this in no way is an epidemic, the numbers of cases where people intentionally ingested tide pods and experienced a negative outcome is on the rise. The consequences for eating a Tide pod can be severe as the pods are highly concentrated forms of detergent and contain less water than regular detergent.
According to the Ontario Poison Control Centre, there has also been a slight increase in reported cases:
“Recently, OPC has been made aware of the social media “challenge” relating to biting into or eating single-use laundry packets and has received calls directly attributable to this misuse. OPC data shows the Centre has seen a slight increase in calls relating to single-use laundry packet exposure so far this year. This data reflects calls from all three of OPC’s jurisdictions (Ontario, Manitoba and Nunavut).Misuse of single-use laundry packets can have significant health consequences and may be life-threatening. Known potential effects include profuse vomiting, seizures, difficulty breathing and coma.”
Tide obviously thinks this is a problem as they have gone through several measures lately to inform people that they shouldn’t eat Tide pods.
What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.
— Tide (@tide) January 12, 2018
What Should you do if someone you knows ingests a Tide pod?
If you or someone is exposed to detergent, it’s important to reach a medical expert right away, either by contacting The Ontario poison control centre or a doctor.
Call Toll-Free: 1-800-268-9017