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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 9 August 2022

Vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing problems: Why you definitely shouldn't bite into a liquitab

The Tide Pod challenge does not seem to have reached Ireland and the National Poisons Information Centre wants to keep it that way.

Image: AP/PA Images

THOUGH IT MAY seem like advice that shouldn’t have to be given, Irish teens and adults are being warned not to try a new internet meme that involves biting into or even fully ingesting a liquid detergent tablet.

The Tide Pod challenge started in the US with a particular brand of detergent tablets, but internet users in Britain have now also started to post videos of themselves taking part in the trend online.

Patricia Casey, manager of the National Poisons Information Centre, told her team has been watching the online trend with concern. Already more than 200 children a year – mostly aged under five – are reported to have ingested liquitabs in Ireland.

“Since we have seen this Tide Pod challenge, we haven’t had any incidents of teens this year and we want to keep it that way,” she said.

“Symptoms usually include a really fast onset of vomiting, multiple episodes of diarrhoea – not pleasant. This is not something you want to do to yourself.”

In some of the children who have been treated after ingesting a liquitab, her team has also seen short-term breathing difficulties, wheezing and coughing.

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Casey said packaging restrictions have made it more difficult for children to get their hands on the liquid tablets, but it still happens – unlike the teens and adults doing the Tide Pod challenge, toddlers do not know any better.

If this does happen and the child is exhibiting symptoms, Casey advises parents seek immediate medical advice.

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