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Name for nationwide ban on water beads as dad and mom recount ER visits

Offered as kids’s toys and a few resembling sweet, water beads are colourful, water-absorbing balls. But the merchandise can be hazardous to younger kids and even probably lethal if swallowed as they will develop many instances their measurement as soon as inside a toddler’s physique, advocates and a federal company warn.

That is why dad and mom and the chair of the Client Merchandise Security Fee are backing a congressman’s plan to suggest laws banning water beads marketed for youths.

Usually purchased for older siblings, expanded water beads have been discovered within the stomachs, intestines, ears, noses and even lungs of infants and toddlers, Client Studies mentioned in a latest report. CPSC estimates there have been 4,500 visits to hospital emergency rooms on account of water beads since 2017.

“Confusion and terror”

Amongst these ER visits was one in 2017 involving Ashley Haugen’s toddler daughter, Kipley.

“I remember sitting in the waiting room, drenched in Kipley’s vomit, a mix of confusion and terror engulfing me,” Haugen, a resident of San Antonio, Texas, and founding father of That Water Bead Girl, an advocacy group, mentioned Monday at a information convention organized to rally assist for the proposed invoice from Rep. Frank Pallone, D., New Jersey. “The source of her ailment? Water beads, the seemingly harmless birthday gift we bought for her older sister’s 6th birthday. Unbeknownst to us, the bead material silently wreaked havoc inside Kipley’s small body for over 70 days.”

Kipley survived, however the incident required surgical procedure and intensive post-operative care.

The invoice, set to be launched this week by Pallone, is the quickest option to shield kids nationwide, based on Client Studies and the CPSC, which has issued public warnings about water beads and recalled a number of merchandise.

“Walmart, Amazon and Target, all sell these things in various forms,” Pallone mentioned Monday outdoors the Jersey Shore College Medical Heart in Neptune, New Jersey. “We did a recent search on Amazon and we got 3,000 results, so it’s very widespread.”

“No warnings are going to be enough, they have to be banned,” he added.

Water beads exercise kits offered at Goal recalled on account of ingestion, choking dangers


A slew of youngsters’s toy units and associated merchandise with water beads have been accessible on the market in any respect three of the retailer’s websites, as effectively these of different toy sellers, CBS MoneyWatch discovered.

“Children, as you all know, love to put things in their mouth, and once it reaches the stomach it can cause obstruction, and that is if they are lucky — once it reaches the small bowel, that’s a major operation,” Dr. Harpreet Pall, chair of pediatrics at Hackensack Meridian Well being Ok. Hovnanian Kids’s Hospital, mentioned on the information convention.

Water beads are additionally problematic in that as a result of they don’t seem to be metallic, they’re harder to detect in x-rays, Pall famous.

Child’s dying

One other dad or mum who spoke on the occasion described her child’s dying on July 7.

“I walked into the unimaginable,” Taylor Bethard mentioned in describing strolling into her 10-month-old daughter’s room one morning. “My baby wasn’t breathing, she had no pulse, my kids watched as I screamed in terror and began CPR,” Bethard mentioned. “Our sweet Esther Jo is gone all because of a toy.”

A 3rd mom described the stress of realizing that toys that damage their kids stay available on the market.

X-ray scan displaying water beads in a toddler’s intestines. Product security regulators say water beads are related to 1000’s of emergency room visits yearly.

U.S. Client Product Security Fee

“Imagine the anxiety of going into the store and seeing these types of products, water beads, that you know are deadly sitting on the shelf directly targeting families and children,” Folichia Mitchell, of Berwick, Maine, whose daughter Kennedy was significantly injured by water beads in November 2022.

Regulatory steps that may be taken by CPSC to forestall water beads from being on retailer cabinets may take years and nonetheless face court docket challenges, CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric informed the gathering. “Legislation is a much more direct way. It puts in protections much more quickly and definitely,” he mentioned.

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