We haven’t had to write a local story about teens getting sick or poisoned from the “Tide Pod Challenge,” but I worry we may have to soon. It has become a trend among young people to film themselves putting a laundry detergent pod in their mouths to see how long they can keep them there. Since the pods dissolve on contact with moisture, these teens and young adults quickly get a dose of concentrated laundry detergent and all the dangerous chemicals they contain.
Luckily, YouTube and Facebook announced they’ll each be removing videos of the “challenge” because of the dangerous nature of the actions, so hopefully this will be a trend that will die quickly.
But the story has gotten enough attention that it’s become a pretty big deal. I’m sure doctors and health department officials were just as flabbergasted by questions of the safety of putting a laundry detergent pod in one’s mouth as the journalists were who had to ask those questions.
Interestingly, I found that Tide’s official Twitter account has only tweeted once this year. That tweet reads, in part, “eating a Tide POD is a BAD IDEA” and it features a specially produced video featuring New England Patriots football player Rob Gronkowski reiterating that point, repeatedly.
I know the pods are brightly colored and may look vaguely like candy to small children and those with dementia, but by the age of the people making these videos, I feel like they should know better.
Early in 1989’s “Batman” film, there was a reference to someone who was found dead having been “drinking Drano.” I had just turned 12 when I saw that movie in theaters and the reference has always stuck with me because it sounded like such a terrible idea. Even at that young age, I knew that ingesting something like that would be poisonous and could leave someone dead.
Hopefully many of the youth of today will have similar memories of the “Tide Pod Challenge” that stick with them throughout life.
Happy birthday Friday to Lorraine Brown and Ann Auvigne, both of Denison; Ora Snell, Elsie Carnes, Doyle Reynolds, Sherrich Thompson and Natayvia White, all of Sherman; Dewayne Hughes of Denton; Gerald Slate of Bosque, New Mexico; and Stacy Williams of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.