B.C. family warns of Tide pod dangers after toddler’s near-brush with death

B.C. family warns of Tide pod dangers after toddler’s near-brush with death

Kayla White said her toddler reached inside the family’s front-loading laundry machine and bit into a Tide pod

An Aldergrove family has gone public with their story about their close brush with death to help other families become more aware of the dangers of common household products.

Kayla White said that in the blink of an eye her toddler had reached inside the family’s front-loading laundry machine and bit into a Tide pod sitting atop the soiled laundry. Little Hunter, who just turned one year old on Nov. 8, immediately spat it out but the strong detergent he had ingested when it squirted into the back of his throat resulted in a near-death experience that was traumatic for Hunter and his family.

Kayla and her husband Shane are vigilant about safety for their family of five. All household cleaners are kept up high in a locked cupboard, their kitchen range and fridge are locked, and all the kitchen and laundry cabinets are locked. The laundry machine also locks when it is in operation, but this is where the story went wrong.

“I had just come home from an eight hour shift at work and was making dinner and Shane was doing the laundry after feeding Hunter his dinner. It was 7:35 Sunday night and I was going to put Hunter to bed so I told Shane not to turn the machine on yet because the shaking on the spin cycle might keep Hunter up,” said Kayla.

“I was playing peekaboo with Hunter who was around the corner from the kitchen and I stopped to turn off the rice cooker. When I turned around I heard Hunter gurgling and ran over to see him trying to crawl to me. There was water on the floor and I looked behind him and saw a ‘smooshed’ Tide pod on the floor behind him.”

Hunter had pulled the front-loading laundry door open, reached into the machine for the colourful Tide pod and put it in his mouth and bit it.

The couple leapt into action, with one calling 911 and the other rinsing Hunter’s mouth out. Poison Control was connected to the 911 operator and the family on the phone and the family was told to give Hunter milk — advice which doctors later said was a mistake.

Hunter drank his bottle of milk in Shane’s arms by the time paramedics arrived but his condition worsened.

“The paramedics ran inside and rushed him out to the ambulance before I could get my shoes on,” said Kayla.

“They were suctioning his mouth and Hunter was projectile vomiting, he couldn’t get his breath. They told me to sit and stay calm for the ride while they called emergency at Langley Memorial Hospital, telling them that Hunter’s airway was obstructed and he was passing out.

“When we got there the doctors and nurses were waiting at the door. Hunter had stopped vomiting and was completely exhausted, and the emergency doctor asked why we had given him milk. I said that’s what Poison Control had said to do, and the emergency doctor said that was the worst thing we could have done.”

She said the doctors and nurses took Hunter’s vital signs and then it took four of them plus Shane an hour to finally get the IV line inserted because he panicked and fought back fiercely. Hunter kept vomiting until there was nothing left inside him, and they kept him overnight in the pediatric ward for observation to determine whether he had aspirated any of the pod into his lungs.

“They let us go home on a pass Monday night but kept his bed open in case we had to return in the night,” said Kayla.

“We returned Tuesday morning to get Hunter reassessed. The doctor checked his lungs and said it didn’t sound like there was any crackling — he was concerned that he could get aspiration pneumonia. And he couldn’t see any burns down by Hunter’s tonsils but said the pod might have irritated or burned his esophagus.”

Kayla and Shane say they and Hunter’s doctors will monitor Hunter’s progress, which appears to be good as of Wednesday evening.

However, Kayla said that doctors at Langley Memorial told her that they have seen several cases involving toddlers ingesting Tide pods and that Hunter’s case was far from the first they’ve seen.

“That’s why I’m going public with our story. We have gotten some backlash from people but it’s more important that other parents know how quickly this can happen and take steps to prevent it. These pods are so highly concentrated.”

SEE RELATED STORY: B.C. expert weighs in on why kids are eating Tide pods for fun

For its part, in response to the short-lived “Tide pod challenge” fad in which teens of all ages filmed themselves eating the blue and orange infused packages, Tide’s parent company Procter and Gamble released the following statement: “Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they’re used safely in millions of households every day. They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children. They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if meant as a joke.”

Kayla also said she would be calling Poison Control to have them update the information given out in response to ingestion of detergents.

“After we gave Hunter milk like Poison Control told us that night he was vomiting sudsy soap, blowing bubbles out of his nose and aspirating the soap. The emergency doctor told us that giving him milk was the worst thing we could have done,” said Kayla.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Keremeos family lost their home after a fire shortly before midnight on April 13. No injuries were reported. (Contributed)
Keremeos home destroyed in late-night fire

The family inside was unharmed

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Campfires are allowed within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, but open burning season comes to an end April 15 at midnight. (Black Press file photo)
Open burning season ends in Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Campfires are permitted, following provincial guidelines

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Name is spelled incorrectly

For 100 years, the Garnett name has been spelled incorrectly as Garnet

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Development will start disintegration of Summerland

I am in favour of affordable housing but voting for a rezoning does not address this serious issue

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

Naloxone
Op/Ed: Interior Health CEO speaks on five years of strides and challenges in overdose crisis

In 2020, close to 4,000 people across IH had access to opioid medications

Somewhere in the pack being celebrated by his teammates is Vernon Vipers forward Zack Tonelli, who scored in overtime Wednesday afternoon, April 14, to give the Snakes a 6-5 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in B.C. Hockey League pod play at Kal Tire Place. (Liza Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers bite Salmon Arm Silverbacks in OT

Snakes blow 5-3 third-period lead, rally in extra time for 6-5 pod play result over rivals

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department, photo from Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page
The Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department. (Facebook)
South Okanagan fire crews battle two blazes one-after-another

The two fires were likely caused by discarded cigarettes according to the fire department

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Most Read