Who would’ve thought that eating poison would be the next big food trend? Certainly not us. Turn on the television to any national news channel and you will hear that kids across America are taking part in the “Tide Pod Challenge.” The newest game in a long line of infamous Internet challenges, the Tide Pod Challenge has kids ingesting laundry detergent and broadcasting it to their friends on social media. Needless to say, eating Tide PODs is a bad idea.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers there were 220 cases of teens ingesting Tide PODs last year, and 25 percent of those cases were intentional. Teens and children who have ingested the substance have been hospitalized with vomiting, breathing difficulties and loss of consciousness. More seriously, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, two children and six adults have died over the past five years after ingesting the PODs. These brightly colored packets have become the hottest topic on the Internet, and kids are intentionally misusing them for the glory of a YouTube video or meme.
Though they might look like candy, the PODs are made of synthetic (read: poisonous) chemicals, made exclusively for cleaning clothing, just as the packaging says. In an effort to halt the growing popularity of the trend, YouTube has vowed to take down any videos of teens ingesting the PODs and has deemed the content a violation of their community guidelines. In a recent social media post, Tide tweeted “What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.”
What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.
— Tide (@tide) January 12, 2018
In short, the Tide Pod Challenge is stupid, dangerous and reckless. Regardless of how much they might look like candy, laundry detergent pods are made of poisonous chemicals and are not to be ingested under any circumstance.