Poison control centers see 2018 spike in laundry pod ingestion calls

A new statistic from the National Poison Control Center is showing the scope of an online stunt. It's a dangerous trend in teenage pop culture, where kids bite into laundry pods.

Doctors in the Bluegrass are hoping Kentucky teens stay off the bandwagon, and out of their offices.

"In health care we just shake our heads, because it's so incredibly dangerous," explained Lexington emergency room physician, Dr. Ryan Stanton.

"We're seeing a lot of the viral videos around the country. These kids, and challenges, to eat these pods,"he said.

It is a trend that is putting health-care professionals in the Bluegrass on the lookout.

"This is basically taking what use to be a full cup or larger, of detergent, and compacts it down. Very high concentration," Stanton said, "These are not designed for human contact."

19-year-old New Yorker Marc Pagan made one of those video on a dare, and tells CBS news it was a mistake.

"A lot of people were just saying how stupid I was or how – why would I be willing to do that," said Pagan. "No one should be putting anything like that in their mouths, you know?"

That's because even if you don't scarf down the whole pod, biting into it can still make you very sick.

"Vomiting and aspiration. They could be very dangerous to the eyes," said Dr. Stanton.

We are just two weeks into 2018, but poison control centers across the country are already reporting a 20 percent jump in calls related to teens exposed to laundry pods. Half of those reported incidents are listed as intentional misuse.

Dr. Stanton says luckily he hasn't had to treat anyone attempting the stunt yet, and hopes it stays that way.

"We need to warn you that this serious decision could land you in my emergency department, in front of me, having very unfortunate and uncomfortable things done in order to try to take care of you,"

Since 2012, nearly a dozen people have died from laundry pod ingestion. Doctors say parents should save poison control's number in their phones, in case of an emergency.

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