Madison County toddler poisoned by laundry detergent

Havoc Jones picked up a laundry gel pac and got it into his mouth before anyone could stop him.
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A two-year-old Madison County boy is the intensive care unit at Riley Hospital for Children after swallowing the blue liquid inside a Kirkland Ultra Clean laundry detergent pac.

Havoc Jones is a beautiful, curly-haired, blue eyed toddler.  Like many two-year-olds, he is energetic and curious even when mom is doing things around the house.  On April 24, Havoc was inside his home with his mother.

"She was getting ready to do the laundry and he just picked it up, grabbed it - and they're kind of pressurized.  It just shot down his throat," said Lisa Smith who is Jones' grandmother.  "He started coughing and gagging and couldn't get his breath," said Smith.

Now, the boy is hospitalized in the intensive care unit At Riley Hospital for Children.  He is having trouble breathing and has been on an oxygen machine.

"They had the scope down through his nose and down into his esophagus to see the burn.  They put him down yesterday to look down into his stomach to see if there was damage there which had a little and say there was even soap bubbles," said Smith.  "All this because of these crazy detergent things."

The Kirkland laundry detergent pacs come in a well-marked container with a clear warning on the lid that reads "Keep out of the reach of children."

But Lisa Smith says children may think these laundry detergent pacs are something fun.

"It's (looks like) candy or a toy, or a teething ring or a teething toy," said Smith.  "She said he just bit into it and it just shot right down his throat."

Smith says the little boy may go home Saturday if his oxygen level and heart rate stays down.  As their little boy remains hospitalized, the family has a warning.  If you use laundry detergent pacs, keep them away from children.

According to Dr. James Mowry with the Indiana Poison Center, no Indiana children have died from ingesting laundry detergent pacs but many have become sick.  In 2012, the Indiana Poison Center reported 244 cases.  Most of the children suffered nausea or vomiting.  14 cases, children became drowsy.  Two children required the assistance of a ventilator.

There have been 92 cases so far in 2013 with 88 children being under the age of five.  Dr. Mowry says parents should contact the Indiana Poison Center if their children ingest the products and follow these tips.

1)   Finger swipe the remaining product out of their mouth

2)   Have your child drink milk or water to dilute the detergent

3)   Watch for nausea, vomiting or drowsiness

See tips on prevention poisoning and what to do in an emergency.