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Utah teens take the deadly 'Tide Pod Challenge'

Utah teens taking the deadly “Tide Pod Challenge” (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - Dozens of teens across the nation are reporting intentional poisoning from consuming laundry detergent pods, including several reports here in Utah.

Dr. Barbara Crouch with the Utah Poison Control Center said it’s a new trend amongst teens that could be deadly.

Typically, they call when they’re concerned or scared about [poisoning],” she said. “There’s been several deaths associated with swallowing these concentrated packets. This is not something you want to flirt with.

Teens we spoke with tell 2News they wouldn’t do the challenge, themselves, but understand why videos of the challenge are trending on social media.

"It's like, scary and funny in a horrible way," said West High School student Otto Felix. "People will do the most stupid stuff ever. It's about the likes, the views on Instagram. The followers. The false sense of popularity."

Nearly 50 people across the nation have reported being poisoned by consuming liquid detergent pods. Half of the exposures were intentional.

Crouch said some young children or elderly adults may mistake the colorful pods for candy.

Several teens have been reported to have intentionally exposed themselves to the toxic pods in Utah County and Iron County, according to the Utah Poison Control Center.

Crouch believed many more teens were daring each other to take the “Tide Pod Challenge,” but did not have severe enough symptoms to report sickness.

“Typically, they call when they’re concerned or scared about them,” she said.

Poison control encourages parents to talk to their kids about the dangers and be aware of the symptoms of poisoning which include vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing. They also suggest locking up these toxic products.

If you think someone is sick, call poison control immediately at 1-800-222-1222.

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