More than 720 cases of children being poisoned by liquitabs have been reported to the National Poisons Centre in the last three years.
The majority of cases involved children under the age of three.
Parents and childminders are being urged to store detergent capsules safely as children can often mistake them for toys or sweets.
If they come into contact with the eyes they can cause temporary blindness and if swallowed, it can result in severe vomiting and respiratory distress.
“If the film around the liquitab dissolves, and the concentrated cleaning chemicals inside get in contact with the eye, they can actually cause very severe eye damage,” said Yvonne Mullooly, Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority.
“This is obviously extremely painful and distressing to a young child. If the contents are swallowed, the chemicals that are released can cause severe vomiting and breathing difficulties as well.”
The Health and Safety Authority has asked manufacturers of liquitabs to make changes to the packaging so they are less accessible to small children. BN