Parents are being urged to store liquid detergent tablets safely after US research found eye injuries in young children had gone up 30-fold in the past few years.
When the liquid squirts into children’s eyes, or is rubbed in via their hands, it can cause chemical burns.
Doctors in the UK have previously warned of the dangers of the tablets, saying children often mistake them for brightly-coloured sweets.
Children under five are most at risk.
The tablets, which are used in washing machines and dishwashers, are often soft in texture, making them attractive to pre-school age children.
But they contain alkaline chemicals which can burn the eyes and lead to long-term eyesight problems.
If an accident occurs, parents are advised to rinse their child’s eye in cool running water for 20 minutes and seek medical help.
If the chemicals are swallowed, children can choke and have serious breathing problems, in which case parents should call emergency services straight away.