Soap pods look like fun.

Soap pods sure can look like toys to a 3-year-old. Parker liked to help her mom, Jill, with the laundry and came across a soap pod at home one evening. She squeezed it and the liquid soap burst into her eyes. Mom quickly washed her eyes out as best she could, but Parker still seemed to be in a lot of pain. They hopped in the car and headed to the ER. There the staff called poison control and Parker was eventually discharged and went home. She had a tough time sleeping that night so the next morning, Jill called her pediatrician. Parker was then referred to Dr. Frederick for an appointment.

Dr. Frederick, a pediatric ophthalmologist with ESA, saw her that same day. He diagnosed Parker with a corneal abrasion and chemical keratitis, and started a regimen of antibiotic ointment, topical steroids, a bandage contact lens and a pressure patch for comfort and to promote healing. Parker then saw Dr. Frederick every day for five consecutive days to ensure she was healing well without infection, inflammation or scarring. She has since recovered with no issues and her sight is good. Dr. Frederick has seen two other cases of this type of accident with soap pods and unfortunately the prognosis does not always turn out so well. “The chemicals are so concentrated they can do severe damage with only a brief exposure,” Dr. Frederick advises. “Immediate flushing and prompt ER attention are critical.”

Jill adds, “I’m so grateful for the care we received and that Parker will recover fully. I thought Parker understood that the pods are for the laundry, but evidently not. We went back to the ‘old fashioned’ soap, keep it out of reach and locked up like our other household cleaning products. We now have the phone number for poison control hanging on the refrigerator.” Parker can’t even remember which eye was hurt anymore and remarks, “My eye feels all better now. No more owies.” ESA recommends that families with young children eliminate having these laundry and dish detergent “pods” at home.

Watch Dr. Frederick as he talks about soap pods on KWQC’s Midday Medical segment.

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