Remember when Tide first released their adorable little Tide pods and they were cute and colourful and we were all really concerned that kids were going to start popping them in their mouths like candy? Tide issued warnings and put huge labels on the box telling parents to keep the fun-looking poison far away from children. Well, it looks like all that was for naught because the children are into the Tide pods, people, and it’s not the ones you thought you needed to worry about. Teenagers have decided that the new cool way to get internet famous (and dead?) is to INGEST TIDE PODS. We wish we were joking.
Y’all ever just get the urge to eat a tide pod? pic.twitter.com/9vy49VdG7U
— moni 🧝🏻♀️ (@unIatched) December 31, 2017
And now they’re challenging each other, baking them into pizzas, frying them up in skillets and EATING THEM. This all kind of started out as a harmless internet meme, with people joking about wanting to eat them and calling them “forbidden fruit.” Well, that fruit was forbidden for a reason, my friends. That’s because it’s POISON.
— Tide Pod memes (@Tidepodmemes) January 8, 2018
— Tide Pod memes (@Tidepodmemes) January 6, 2018
— butterscotch queen (@AshleyPoitevien) January 8, 2018
It’s not a joke anymore. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports almost 40 cases of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 ingesting the pods since the beginning of the year. Half of those were intentional (we’re not really sure how you unintentionally ingest a Tide pod) and that’s just the reported cases. It’s gone so far that poison control centers in the U.S. are issuing warnings practically begging people not to eat the pods.
While the Tide Pod Challenge may have started as a joke, it is extremely dangerous! Even if the entire pod is not swallowed, ingesting just a small amount of the concentrated detergent can cause effects such as burns inside or around the mouth, nausea, or breathing problems. pic.twitter.com/Li1bxbAM8F
— Minnesota Poison Control System (@MNpoisoncenter) January 12, 2018
— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) January 13, 2018
Tide has found itself in the line of fire again for making those pods so dang cute. They’re taking a more chill approach to addressing the issue to stay cool with the kids (but you can tell they’re totally freaking out at this whole PR nightmare). You know teenagers don’t respond to rules and warnings, but what do they respond to? Athletes and sarcastic humour. Tide enlisted Patriots player Rob Gronkowski to do a little PSA on how Tide pods should actually be used. You know, for doing laundry.
What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.
— Tide (@tide) January 12, 2018
There you have it, people. Tide pods are for washing, not eating. Stop this madness.