Poison control calls 'spike' due to online laundry pod challenge

Story highlights

  • Online challenge prompts people to eat laundry pods and film their reactions
  • 39 related calls were made to poison control centers in the first 15 days of 2018
  • Toxic substances in these products can be harmful and even deadly, authorities say

(CNN)It used to be that washing your kid's mouth out with soap was seen as a punishment. Now, authorities are trying to keep teens from doing just that.

Teens have been increasingly biting into laundry pods, with some posting the videos online as part of a "challenge," according to a statement Tuesday by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The results can be potentially harmful or even deadly.
In the first 15 days of the new year, poison control centers received 39 such calls -- the same number they received in all of 2016, the association said.
    In videos posted on YouTube and social media, people gag, cough and sometimes begin foaming at the mouth after biting into laundry pods.