The Consumer Product Safety Commission and toy company Buffalo Games announced a recall of approximately 52,000 Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kits due to “ingestion, choking and intestinal obstruction hazards.” Earlier this year, a 10-month-old child reportedly swallowed one of the water beads and died.
Buffalo Games also received a report of a 9-month-old who was seriously injured last November after swallowing the same water beads and needed surgery to remove them.
A recall notice published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said a 10-month-old child died in July after swallowing one of the recalled water beads.
“Water beads are marketed as fun sensory toys for kids but can be deadly to babies and small children if they are ingested,” CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric said in a statement. “The water beads, generally purchased for older siblings, can be missed during clean up and swallowed days or even weeks later. The children who survived water bead ingestion suffered hospitalizations and surgeries and live with long-term health impacts.”
If ingested, the water beads expand and can cause intestinal obstruction hazards, severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration and a risk of death.
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“Stop using water beads, get them out of your home immediately and search any areas in which stray beads may have unintentionally been scattered during play,” CPSC Commission Richard Trumka said in a statement. “Note that when not submerged in water, water beads can shrink to the size of grains of rice. However, if your child or pet swallows one, they will expand and can cause deadly intestinal obstructions.”
The Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kits include 2 ounces of “jumbo” water beads and 6 ounces of “regular” water beads. The activity kit was sold in a purple box with UPC Number 079346627035 on the back.
Consumers who purchased the water bead kit in question are urged to contact Buffalo Games at 800-637-0732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for refund information and instructions on how to return the product in a prepaid mailing package. The water bead kits can also be returned to any Target store.
The recall only involves the Chuckle & Roar kit for now, but the CPSC plans to keep an eye on water bead toys in general.
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“While this is the Commission’s first water bead recall, similar products remain available across a variety of retail platforms,” CPSC Commissioner Peter A. Feldman said in a statement. “In May, the Commission received testimony about the unique obstruction hazard this product category may present to children. The Commission will be monitoring this class of products and will weigh all available actions it can take to protect consumers.”