Between 2012 and 2015, the number of chemical burns to the eye associated with laundry detergent pods increased more than 30-fold among preschool-aged children in the US, according to a new analysis, but don't fall prey to the scaremongering that will be done by CNN and PBS.

Detergent pods are dissolvable pouches containing enough laundry detergent for a single use - they lead to less waste because  the amount used is precise. That's good for the environment. But harried parents are being given one more thing to be terrified about, and academics are blaming "candy-like appearance."

The results came from eye injuries in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS; run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) for the period 2010-2015. During that period, 1,201 laundry detergent pod-related ocular burns occurred among children age 3 to 4 years. The number of chemical burns associated with laundry detergent pods increased from 12 instances in 2012 to 480 in 2015; the proportion of all chemical ocular injuries associated with these devices increased from 0.8 percent of burns in 2012 to 26 percent in 2015.

The injuries most often were linked by medical staff as when children were handling the pods and the contents squirted into one or both of their eyes or when the pod contents leaked onto their hands and a burn resulted from subsequent hand-eye contact.

So is it the packaging? No, you don't keep a giant bottle of opened Tide at floor level and these also need proper storage. None of that will prevent the class action lawsuits about to occur, however.

Citation: JAMA Ophthalmol. February 2, 2017.doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.5694