This Is What Will Happen To Your Body If You Eat A Tide Pod

The Tide Pod Challenge is a really bad idea, and here's why. (TL;DR DON'T EAT THEM.)

If you've been on the internet in the past week, you've probably read that people are eating Tide Pods for fun.

You'd like to believe nobody over the age of 5 wants to pop a laundry detergent pod in their mouth but, apparently, 2018 is full of surprises. So many people are eating the pods that Tide and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission have had to issue warnings. How is this even a thing?

What began as a satirical article about eating detergent pods in the Onion from 2015 — a harmless internet joke — turned into a dangerous meme that went viral in late 2017. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, centers across the country handled 39 cases of people intentionally ingesting laundry detergent in 2016 among people aged 13 to 19, 53 cases in 2017, and 39 in the first two weeks of 2018 alone, BuzzFeed News previously reported.

Up until then, the majority of calls made to poison control centers related to accidental poisoning from laundry pods were among children under 5, the AAPCC said in a statement. Actually, accidental poisonings in toddlers and young children was such a problem that it led to a change in packaging. But these are no curious children — these are teenagers (and some grown adults) chomping down on the liquid-filled packets.

Some are even posting videos of themselves eating the pods on social media as part of a disturbing trend called the "Tide Pod Challenge."

Y’all ever just get the urge to eat a tide pod?

People, including many teenagers, are posting these videos places like Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube where they get thousands of views and shares. It's horrifying, to say the least. On Wednesday, YouTube announced that it is taking down these videos. "YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm. We work to quickly remove flagged videos that violate our policies," YouTube said in a statement, according to BuzzFeed News.

So what actually happens to your body when you eat laundry detergent pods? We spoke to an expert to find out.

First, the pod will explode in your mouth and probably cause a lot of irritation and coughing or gagging.

If you swallow the detergent, it can cause burns to the esophagus and stomach, as well as gastrointestinal distress.

But the real danger is if you inhale the detergent while swallowing or vomiting — which can cause serious respiratory distress.

Eating laundry detergent pods can kill you, but you'd have to eat or inhale a LOT of detergent, and most deaths occur among small children.

If you ingest laundry detergent, drink some water and call Poison Control. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the hospital.

If you just bite into a pod and don't swallow any detergent at all, you're probably fine. But still rinse out your mouth and watch for any symptoms.

You might burn the membranes inside your mouth like we mentioned earlier, but if you didn't ingest anything then you are probably okay. However, you should still rinse your mouth out immediately and watch out for any symptoms. If you notice any anything, give Poison Control a call just to be safe.

AND DON'T DO IT AGAIN.

SO PLEASE, DO NOT EAT LAUNDRY DETERGENT PODS.

Eat this decorative and detergent-free doughnut instead!

Or just actual gummy candy that isn't poisonous!

But for your health (and our sanity), please do not ever eat a laundry detergent pod. Ever.