Last month, I had the opportunity to visit Proctor & Gamble Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio to get an advance look at their newest project. While on site, I got a fascinating tour of their product development facilities, from areas where consumers test products to laboratories where products like Tide and Downy go under the microscope – literally – to examine what works the best. Their Analytical Lab is equipped with millions of dollars worth of technology, and fabrics are studied carefully to see how P&G products perform against the competition. I chatted at length with the staff, which includes a former rocket scientist who now works on laundry technology, and I was pretty impressed to see the side-by-side difference in clothes washed with Tide+Downy versus competitors.
This meticulous attention to detail is how P&G develops new innovations like Tide Pods. As I learned during my trip, Tide Pods were the result of years of research and development to come up with the best possible laundry solution. Now being used in 20% of households, Tide Pods have been a huge success; and as part of their continuing commitment to safety, P&G is launching a new campaign today to further educate families about best practices in the laundry room.
I got an advance look at this new safety campaign during my trip, where I met with Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. This is an amazing organization that works to reduce preventable childhood injuries with educational programs. Since their inception in 1988, there has been a 60% decrease in the unintentional injury rate among children under 19, so their important work is saving lives. P&G has teamed up with Safe Kids Worldwide as well as The American Cleaning Institute and The American Academy of Pediatrics to raise awareness about laundry pac safety with this new campaign.
During our talk, Kate and the team at P&G organized a “Safety scavenger hunt”, where we had just under 2 minutes to locate and mark every item in a room that could be a safety hazard. It was illuminating to me to see potential risks I might not have spotted. If you want to try this scavenger hunt for yourself, see if you can find all 11 safety hazards in this video:
Even when you’re aware of a potential hazard, it can be easy to overlook something when you’re in a hurry. Small children explore the world with their mouth and hands, so it’s important to spend as much time childproofing your laundry area as you would the kitchen or bathroom. Did you know that a 2015 survey by the American Cleaning Institute found that 1/3 of parents who bring their children into the laundry room admit that they can reach the detergent? That’s why Tide is introducing this simple mantra to remember: Keep your Tide Pods Up, out of the reach of children; keep the container Closed, so that the contents are not accessible; and by doing that, you are keeping your children Safe.
To coincide with this new safety campaign, P&G is also rolling out packaging modifications for Tide Pods. The updated Tide Pods bags will feature a Child-Guard™ zipper co-developed with Presto Products which complies with a new ASTM standard. These new bags will be rolled out in stores starting in May, and are the best option for families with young children in the home because it is the most secure design yet as well as being easy to open. P&G’s research has shown that when a bag is easy to open, it is more likely to be closed properly, making it simpler for parents to keep the bag Up, Closed and Safe. In addition, the pacs can withstand the average squeezing pressure of a small child, and they have also added a bitterant to the pacs, as another line of defense in the worst case scenario.
Keep Them Up, Keep Them Closed, Keep Them Safe: Helpful Tips
- Parents usually think about proofing their kitchens or bathrooms but the laundry room is often overlooked.
- Much like many other household cleaning products, laundry pacs need to be handled with great care to prevent unintended exposure.
- Keep these products out of the reach of children between every load.
- Use a cabinet safety latch as an added security measure to ensure products are not accessible.
- After each use, close the container completely and immediately put products away in their appropriate storage location.
- Adults should follow the instructions on the product label.
- If your child does put one of these packets in his mouth or gets any in his eye, call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
- For additional information on laundry safety, please visit the AAP’s HealthyChildren.org or SafeKids.org.
Did you learn something from these tips? Could you spot all 11 dangers in the video?