Kensington police warn teens not to take 'Tide pod challenge'

Police in Kensington, P.E.I., posted a response Wednesday to the "Tide pod challenge," a social media trend that has so far sent about 40 teenagers in the U.S. to hospital.

40 treated for poisoning in the U.S. this year

If a friend wants to eat a Tide pod, suggest an orange instead, says Const. Rob Hartlen. (Kensington Police/Facebook)

Police in Kensington, P.E.I., posted a response Wednesday to the "Tide pod challenge," a social media trend that has so far sent about 40 teenagers in the U.S. to hospital.

The so-called challenge involves young people filming themselves putting the pods in their mouths and biting, releasing the liquid inside. The liquid can cause diarrhoea, coughing spells and vomiting. Children who aspirate it into their lungs can suffer from long-term breathing difficulties.

In a Facebook live video on Wednesday, Kensington Const. Rob Hartlen noted that the package has a symbol on the front saying it is harmful if swallowed.

"My six-year-old knows that he's not to put these in his mouth," Hartlen said.

The video includes a quiz where Hartlen holds up various objects — an orange, a bell, a drone, chocolate milk — and asks if you should put it in your mouth. He includes a trick question where he holds up a package of crackers and notes you can eat the crackers, but not the package.