Can anyone believe we live in an age where people have to be warned against eating laundry pods?

Yes, the absurdity of the onetime Internet meme is clear – joking about eating things that obviously shouldn’t be eaten. It’s something that’s supposed to be funny; not taken literally.

But, suddenly we have something called the “Tide pod challenge.” In it, teens (the largest population of participants) are dared to film themselves munching on a laundry pod produced by the company and upload the video to an online platform.

If the number of clips on YouTube is any indication, there are an overwhelming number of young people willing to take the risk.

The latest numbers from the American Association of Poison Control Centers shows 39 cases of teens intentionally eating laundry pods in the first-half of January this year. It’s a sharp jump from 53 cases in all of 2017, and 39 the year before.

In the last five years, six older adults (one a Canadian) and two young children have died after ingesting a laundry pod.

It’s hard to imagine any part of this being funny. Laundry pods, despite a variance by brand, most often contain poisonous compounds like hydrogen peroxide, ethanol and soap that can burn the mouth and digestive system, or cause respiratory distress if inhaled.

The so-called fad has been grabbing headlines, so much so that YouTube and Facebook have been scrubbing their sites of such videos.

Manufacturers have implemented measures to keep the pods from the wrong hands, but critics say it’s the colour that makes them look like candy to a young child or cognitively challenged adult.

As for teens popping them into their mouths for fun, it’s a matter of knowing better than that.

Not every effort of supposed humour is worth it, especially one with potentially fatal consequences.

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Here’s another tip for those challenged by the rule’s of the roadway – When an emergency vehicle is approaching with lights flashing, move over!

It was a scene of bewilderment Mon., Jan. 22 as North Dundas firefighters worked to leave Winchester en route to a house fire in nearby Winchester Springs.

The lights were evident, the sirens noisy, but still other travellers on the road paid no mind and continued on.

More than an irritant to firefighters, it’s illegal. A first offence comes with a fine of between $400 and $2,000, plus three demerit points. Fail to move over again and you’re looking at a fine between $1,000 and $4,000, possible jail time of up to six months, or a driver’s licence suspension of up to two years.

Most shockingly, the number of violations for not moving aside is on the rise. In 2016, 2,443 charges were laid, up from 1,181 in 2011.

Come on folks, clear the way.