Just Say No to ...Tide Pods?

By Michael Brooks

Staff Writer

I thought “this has to be fake.” Just another article that gets passed around Facebook. Someone reads it, believes it, and shares it, without bothering to verify. Even though I knew it had to be fake, I still set out to verify, so that I could give my standard speech to all my friends who blindly share things without even trying to see if they are true.

To my amazement, I found out it was true. It is so headachingly ridiculous, I couldn’t believe it. I am, of course, talking about the Tide Pod challenge. Someone dares another person to eat a Tide Pod. Yes, those Tide Pods. The same thing that you throw in with your laundry.

The pods are colorful, and they smell good. I can see how a little kid could think they are candy. Last year, U.S. poison control centers received reports of more than 10,500 children younger than five who were exposed to the capsules. But the challenge takes place amongst teenagers and young adults.  Also last year, nearly 220 teens were reportedly exposed, and about 25 percent of those cases were intentional, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

When I was a teen, Taco Bell was the most dangerous thing we ate. When I was home from school and wanted something to eat, I looked in the refrigerator, not above the washer.

Since this is a real thing, that is actually happening, how do we stop teens from eating laundry detergent? (There is one sentence I NEVER thought I would have to type!) You can’t just tell them “don’t do it” because then it will be like alcohol, and they will search it out even harder. We can’t stop selling it because then how will people get their clothes nice and fresh smelling? 

Now, making it illegal is an interesting option. I can just see the neighborhood drug dealer, standing behind an old car wash, slapping his hands together, trying to get a customer. “Slingin’ Pod”, they would say.

Unfortunately, this is not going to change until the next fad comes along. Everybody probably remembers the “Ice Bucket” challenge, but they probably don’t remember that it was actually for a good cause. Most people didn’t even know that the challenge was supposed to raise money for ALS. If you did the challenge, you donated a certain amount, and if you refused, you donated a larger amount. The Tide Pod Challenge doesn’t raise money for anything.

If any of you parents start noticing an increase in the money you have to spend on laundry detergent, you can hope that your teen is taking initiative and actually doing their own laundry. 

However, if you are using a lot of Tide Pods, and if their room looks like a laundry grenade exploded inside, it may be time to have a “Detergent Intervention.”

Jackson County Herald Tribune

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