“If a water bead is ingested, it expands and can present dangers of ingestion, suffocation and intestinal obstruction within a child’s body, resulting in severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration and risk of death for the child,” said the commission. said in a press release.
Another incident occurred last November, when a 9-month-old boy in Maine was seriously injured after swallowing the beads. The beads caused “intestinal obstruction that required surgery to remove,” according to the news release.
In that case, the boy’s mother, Folichia Mitchell, said Good morning america who bought the beads for his 8 year old son. Despite putting them on the kitchen table (assuming they would be out of reach of her young daughter), the baby began vomiting days later, she said.
Hospital tests revealed a large round object in the baby’s stomach, he said. It was a drop of water.
Five surgeries followed: one to remove the bead and another four to treat infections caused by the intestinal obstruction.
Water beads are typically made of superabsorbent polymers, a synthetic substance that can grow to the size of a marble (or tennis ball) after exposure to water, according to the National Capital Poison Center. The beads help keep plants hydrated, but are also used in children’s toys, which use non-toxic superabsorbent polymers.
The recall only involves the Buffalo Games Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kit, which is sold exclusively by Target. The kit is sold in a purple box with UPC number 079346627035 on the back.