Teens eating Tide laundry detergent pods in dangerous online challenge

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-12 17:36:58-05

You may have heard about a dangerous online trend where teenagers are ingesting Tide pods and recording their reactions. Poison Control said it's happening right here in Florida. 

"It's all fun and games until somebody ends up in the ER," Dr. Alfred Aleguas, managing director of the Florida Poison Information Center said.

Those trips to the emergency room are now more likely, as teens join in the Tide pod challenge.

"You're playing with fire. It could be something really dangerous, might seem fun and try to get views, but it's really, you are taking chances," Aleguas said.

Poison control in Tampa has gotten calls from people asking about eating the pods, saying they thought it would be funny.

"It seems to have gone from people wanting to do it, to people actually doing it, so I was very surprised," Aleguas said.

Nationally, 12 days into 2018, there have been 37 teens misusing Tide pods and more than half of them intentionally ingesting Tide pods. One case happened right here in Florida. Three Florida teens ate Tide pods in 2017, with scary side effects.  

"You can become rapidly unconscious, if you aspirate and get some into your lungs, either in the act of swallowing it, or in the act of vomiting, which happens, then you have more respiratory issues," Aleguas said.

Proctor & Gamble, parent company of Tide, said the pods should not be played with, whatever the circumstance, even if meant as a joke. 

If you know a teen who is thinking about participating in the challenge, call poison control for hel[ at (800) 222-1222.