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Doctors Report Rise In Kids Eating Detergent Packs

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File photo of washing detergent capsules. (credit: George Doyle/GettyImages)

File photo of washing detergent capsules. (credit: George Doyle/GettyImages)

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DALLAS (AP) — Poison control centers across the United States are reporting a rise in cases of children swallowing laundry detergent packets.

The tiny, brightly colored packets are marketed as a way to get rid of the mess that comes with bulky bottles and boxes. But doctors say children can confuse the packets with candy.

In Texas, 71 cases of exposure to the packets have been reported this year. Missouri has reported 25, and other states have also seen incidents.

Dallas toxicologist Dr. Kurt Kleinschmidt says patients who swallow the packets often show more serious symptoms than traditional detergent incidents. He says he considers the packets more dangerous.

A spokesman for Tide, which introduced its Pods in March, says all cleaning products need to be handled carefully.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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