Laundry pods are a reminder to talk to our kids

-A A +A
By Bernadette Lauritzen

 This week, I would like to focus on how often we talk to our children and maybe provide some ideas of what we need to talk about.

I confess, I was unaware of the laundry detergent pod challenge. I thought about putting the word challenge in quotes, but the selection of words should probably have the word stupidity in front of challenge.

I knew of the fact that toddlers and perhaps small children may see these pods as colorful pieces of candy. Due to that, parents might need an extra reminder to store them safely and away from tiny hands. 

I also heard and understood that patients experiencing dementia symptoms may also be confused by their colorful nature. There is an illness connection to that confusion, so again clearly a logical conclusion.

What I did not know was that teenagers were putting them in their mouths for fun. Yes, they place them in their mouth to see how long they can take it. That amount of time is determined by one of two things, either not being able to stand it or vomiting.

My children will tell you that I will often pop into a room and announce something ridiculous from time to time. One example was not to show your “naughty bits,” to someone, if they haven’t asked to see them. I did it because incredibly famous and/or elected officials were doing it and they might be seen as role models.

So, the other night, a story comes on the news about detergent pods. Off I go to whoever is home to say something like, “I understand kids are putting laundry pods in their mouths for a fun challenge, don’t do that.”

They usually laugh and make interesting comments back. Luckily, they haven’t shared that anyone they know has done these things. They have heard of teens on the internet doing the pod challenge.

My philosophy is that at least they could never respond that no one ever told them. I am also certain that no one should ever really NEED to tell you certain things in life.

There is a large movement to make the pods less attractive, more opaque or different so they don’t look good enough to eat. I am curious about when we became so busy we couldn’t pour two separate bottles of cleaner into the machine?

I am concerned that we want to blame others for the things that should be common sense on our part as parents, as young adults, as human beings. I am betting that the majority of the people reading this column grew up in a time when there weren’t seatbelts or child safety locks on cabinets.

These are just a few things to think about, but for now remind your children to look both ways when they cross the street, to stop, drop and roll if they are on fire, and not to put cleaning chemicals in their mouth as part of a game.