Federal agencies investigate Kissimmee boy's death after eating detergent pod

Cosumer Product Safety Commission working to create safety standards for pods

(Consumers Union)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Tuesday it is investigating the death of a 1-year-old child after he ate a highly concentrated pack of laundry detergent.

Kissimmee police say the boy was with his mother at a shelter for battered women earlier this month when he ate a highly concentrated pack of laundry detergent and later died.

According to CPSC Director of Communications Scott Wolfson, CPSC is looking into the fatality and are working with local authorities to learn what happened and figure out how the child came into contact with the packet.

Wolfson said it's the first death from the packets that CPSC has investigated and is was aware of, but they have been working with the makers of the products for a few months to create safety standards for packets.

The CPSC wants to see the production makers get rid of inviting, see-through packaging.

"CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum called for the industry to develop a consensus safety standard for laundry packets and that process began just last week," CPSC wrote in a statement. "The Chairman has also called for consistent safety warnings, packaging that is not see through, and more child resistant enclosures.  We are starting to see progress in the marketplace, with some companies using opaque packaging, new types of safety latches, and consistent warning labels." 

Kissimmee police told Local 6 they are still working on their investigation report, which will then be forwarded to the state attorney's office. It will be up to prosecutors to determine whether anyone will face charges in the child's death.

However, police said it was not intentional and the mother was not aware of how potent the detergent packets are.

"Our hearts go out to the family," the CPSC said. "These laundry packets need to be made safer, as children are getting their hands on them and putting them in their mouths or getting the contents in their eyes.  We all need to work together to prevent child poisonings and bring down the number of incidents with liquid laundry packets."