May 24, 2012 1:31 PM by NBC News (CC)

More children are mistaking new laundry detergent pods for colorful candies

A new detergent product is getting into the wrong hands and posing a severe threat to the lives of little ones.

Proctor and Gamble, owner of Tide, is just one company selling small colorful cubes that pack a big punch of cleaning power, but they also pose a huge health hazard for curious children.

Poison control centers nationwide are reporting an increase in calls about children under the age of five swallowing these pods.

Toxicologist Kurt Kleinschmidt said within a matter of minutes symptoms such ash rapid vomiting, nausea, coughing, and difficult breathing can occur. "27 percent of people exposed to a standard laundry detergent will see symptoms. With these pods, it was like 76%," he said.

The best piece of advice: store them on a high shelf, out of reach.

If you think a child has been exposed to a laundry detergent packet, call your local poison center immediately.

So far there have been no reports of deaths, but if not treated immediately children can die.