Parents warned over dishwasher tablets

A campaign has been launched to warn parents of the dangers of liquitabs used in dishwashers and washing machines after children have suffered serious injury after biting into them by mistaking them for jelly sweets.

Five children, all under the age of two, have been admitted to hospital so far this year. These incidences could have had fatal consequences if it had not been for the quick actions of medical staff.

Dr Lyndsay Fraser, an Ear, Nose and Throat department specialist, explained: “We have known for some time about the risk of eye injuries from kids squeezing these liquitabs until they burst.

“What we have seen more recently is that children are biting into the tablets, presumably because they think they are sweets as they have the same soft texture and bright colouring.

“The alkaline chemicals in the liquitab cause an immediate chemical burn, causing breathing problems as the airway starts to swell rapidly.

“Getting them to hospital straight away is imperative. In most of the cases seen so far we have had to insert a breathing tube to protect the child’s airway from the swelling and help them breathe.

“If these children hadn’t reached A&E on time, the airway could close over completely with potentially fatal consequences.”