The Optimist

Tide pods: a new snack?

Amanda Lewandowski, Staff Writer

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A new challenge has been added to the list of ‘Dumb Ways to Harm Yourself:’ the “Tide pod challenge,” which has become the new teen craze. Past honorable mentions on this list are the “cinnamon challenge,” the “salt challenge,” and the “backpack challenge.”

The “Tide pod challenge” consists of biting into a Tide laundry detergent pod while your friends videotape your reaction to the horrific taste. If the previous challenges didn’t stick out as dangerous to your health, this one most definitely should.

According to Jana L. Anderson, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the dangers of consuming a Tide pod include irritation of the mouth, burning of the esophagus and stomach, gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea. More serious problems arise when one gasps or inhales after biting into the detergent-filled pod  and realizing the unpleasant taste. “Anything like detergent that’s very reactive, or contains surfactants, is going to be very irritating for the lungs,” said Anderson. Even seizures and comas can result from eating laundry detergent pods.

Despite the dangers of the challenge, fake images of tide pod Oreos have been floating around social media. Satire is thriving with stories like “Bridging The Divide: Parents Across The Country Are Drinking Wine Glasses Full Of Downy So They Have Something To Talk About With Their Kids Who Eat Tide Pods.”

Labels often warn about keeping harmful products out of young kids reach, but the problem now is that older kids are willingly making the decision to eat them. Are we supposed to put harmful things in outer space now so teenagers can’t reach them?

Considering that January 2018 is supposed to be a fresh start for everyone, we don’t seem to be off to great start.

Leave the detergent for those who need to wash clothes, and stay safe kids.

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Tide pods: a new snack?