Teens take on a dangerous trend for 'Likes' on social media

Tide Pod Challenge Saturday, Janurary 13, 2018. (WLUK/Pafoua Yang)

FOND DU LAC (WLUK) -- Your teens may be popping laundry detergent pods in their mouths.

Warnings about this were put out years ago, but the dangerous craze is getting renewed attention due to new social media postings.

Garth Schumacher is a captain with the Fond du Lac Fire Department and a father of two. He told FOX 11, "My first reaction was, how dumb is this?"

Schumacher was surprised to see videos of teens biting into tide laundry detergent pods and daring others to do the same.

"Even long before this, we told our kids 'if its not food, don't put it in your mouth', and now we gotta tell our teenagers that," Schumacher said.

The dangerous trend, posed as a challenge among teens, has turned up on social media sites. Warnings to keep the detergent packets out of the reach of children have been around for years.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, more than 10,000 children 5-years-old and younger were exposed to laundry detergent packets last year.

The company that makes tide pods started putting child-safety zippers and warnings on the new packaging, but that likely won't help with teens.

Schumacher said, "I think it's a desire to get likes, a desire to get bigger on the social media scene,"

A student from UW Oshkosh told FOX 11, "It's just kind of an idiotic trend. I feel like there are plenty of other ways to get likes if that's whats important to you."

"How about a random act of kindness challenge or something that's not going to kill you or create permanent damage," said Schumacher.

The detergent has ingredients like ethanol, hydrogen peroxide and polymers which can be life threatening if ingested.

"Pod cleanings, its disinfecting, you can have caustic burns because if you get dirt on stuff, you need to break it down, so most of those pod chemicals that have an aging in there breaks down dirt and its usually caustic and cause burns and its like any other cleaning materials."

If you're not persuaded yet, take it from Tide itself.

On Friday, the company tweeted, "What should Tide Pods be used for? Doing Laundry. Nothing else."

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