Tide Pods confiscated from students at Steamboat school
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs School District officials announced Tuesday that teachers at Strawberry Park Elementary had confiscated Tide laundry detergent pods from some students at the school.
Tide Pods have been in the news recently after numerous children and teens have chosen to take part in the “Tide Pod Challenge,” in which they try eating a Tide Pod, filming the activity and posting the video on YouTube.
“This is obviously an unsafe and dangerous activity,” said Superintendent Brad Meeks in a letter to parents scheduled to go out Tuesday afternoon.
Meeks said teachers who confiscated the pods Tuesday morning reported it to principals, who let Meeks know.
“The principals and health staff are following up with those students and families,” Meeks said.
The Tide Pod Challenge, which involves a dare to consume a Tide Pod, came about in December 2017 and grew out of online memes, or posts, that poked fun at the idea of eating Tide Pods, which some people believe look like candy.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, centers have received nearly 50,000 calls over the last five years related to exposure to liquid laundry packets.
Though most of those calls are for children younger than 5, the AAPCC has seen an uptick in calls for teenagers who have intentionally ingested the packets.
In 2016 and 2017, poison control centers handled 39 and 53 cases of intentional exposures, respectively, among teenagers, according to the AAPCC.
That number has increased to 154 among the same age group through Feb. 4.
Side effects from ingesting a laundry packet can be serious and could include seizures, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma and even death.