Water Beads Recall Sparks Lawsuit over Safety Concerns

by | May 16, 2024 | Product Liability, Baby Products | 0 comments

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Water beads, or hydro orbs, have gained popularity as a sensory toy and decorative product in recent years. According to the data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly 7,000 water bead ingestion injuries were treated in emergency rooms across the United States from 2018 through 2022.

These injuries have prompted recalls and lawsuits to prevent injuries to consumers, especially young children who are at risk.

Let’s see more about the water beads recall, the dangers behind the recall, and how to file a water beads lawsuit.

Water Beads: What are They?

Water beads, also known as water-absorbing gel beads, jelly beads, or polymer beads, are commonly used for decoration, plant hydration, and sensory play.

What are water beads made of? Made from superabsorbent polymers, they can absorb large amounts of water and grow to 100 times their original size.

Why are Water Beads Dangerous?

Water beads may seem like a safe product, but they can pose dangers, especially to young children. These small, colorful gels can look like candy, tempting little ones to put them in their mouths. If swallowed, they can cause choking or blockages in the digestive system. This leads to serious medical emergencies requiring surgical intervention.

Even if not ingested, there is a risk of inhalation, particularly in infants who are prone to putting objects in their mouths.

Additionally, if water beads are left on the floor, they can become slippery and cause falls.

Water Beads Recall

The dangers associated with water beads have prompted recalls by regulatory agencies and manufacturers. Several brands of water beads have been recalled due to reports of children experiencing serious injuries after swallowing the beads.

On September 14, 2023, Buffalo Games and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kits. Nearly 52,000 units were recalled due to choking and intestinal obstruction issues.

CPSC instructed consumers to stop using Chuckle & Roar water beads and keep them away from children. Get a full refund from Buffalo Games and return the product to Target.

On March 19, 2024, the CPSC warned people to stop using Jangostor Large Water Beads immediately. This is due to a chemical called acrylamide, which is dangerous for kids if swallowed. The beads were sold on Amazon from March 2017 to November 2023.

Additionally, CPSC warns against Tuladuo Water Bead Sets due to acrylamide levels violating safety standards. Both Jangostor and Tuladuo Water Beads have not accepted the water beads recall.

What is Acrylamide?

Acrylamide is a chemical found in many products, like food, cosmetics, and tobacco smoke. Exposure to large amounts of acrylamide can cause health problems like nervous system disorders and infertility.

The CPSC warned certain water beads had too much acrylamide, which is more than what’s considered safe.

Water Beads Death and Injuries

On July 7, 2023, Esther, a 10-month-old child, died after swallowing a water bead from a Chuckle & Roar activity kit. Even though the company recalled the kits, Esther’s mom wants to warn other parents about the dangers of the beads to prevent more tragedies.

Buffalo Games, the company behind the recalled Chuckle & Roar activity kit, says they followed safety regulations and tested the product before selling it. They offer refunds to customers who bought the water beads recalled products. Target, where the products were sold, stopped selling them and offers refunds to customers who bought them.

In another incident, Letty, a 14-year-old child, was seriously injured after swallowing water beads. The water bead struck in her intestine. It was hard for the doctors to see it on an X-ray because it was the color of her intestine. Doctors performed surgery and removed it safely.

On November 2022, Kennedy, a 10-month-old child, got sick after swallowing a water bead. Her mother bought the beads for her son, who has autism, from Target. She tells other parents to be careful with the beads.

Other parents have also shared stories about their children being harmed by water beads. One mother said she might not have bought the kit if it had proper warning labels. The CPSC and the National Poison Control Center warn about the dangers of water beads, especially for young children.

A recently published medical case study in Cureus for 2024 underscores the possible risks associated with water beads.

A 19-year-old guy went to the emergency room after accidentally swallowing a lot of Orbeez beads. Orbeez are small water-absorbing balls. He felt sick, threw up, and had a swollen belly.

Doctors checked him and found the beads in his stomach and intestines using a special camera test called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and a CT scan. They took out some beads but left others to pass naturally. He got better and started excreting out the beads. He got some medicine and was told to come back if he felt sick again.

The study concluded that Orbeez can be dangerous if swallowed because they can get bigger and block the gut. It’s important to keep an eye on patients who swallow stuff like this to make sure they’re okay.

How to prevent water beads injuries?  

  • To prevent water beads injuries, keep them away from young ones.
  • Store water beads in a safe place where young children can’t reach them.
  • If a child is playing with water beads, make sure they are supervised.
  • Choose age-appropriate toys for children.
  • Pay attention to the warning labels and instructions that come with water beads.

Why do People File a Water Beads Lawsuit?

A federal class-action lawsuit alleges that the makers of Orbeez water beads have falsely advertised their product and failed to adequately warn consumers about the serious risks they pose to children. These risks include choking hazards and life-threatening intestinal obstructions.

The lawsuit was filed in response to growing concerns over the safety of water beads, with a House bill proposed to ban them. The plaintiffs argue that the warning labels on Orbeez packaging are deceptive and insufficient.

They seek changes in marketing and compensation for consumers who were unaware of the dangers. The defendants, including Spin Master and the Maya Group, have not yet responded to the complaint.

Despite recalls and warnings, cases of water bead-related injuries continue to occur, leading to water bead lawsuits and Orbeez lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers.

Parents are suing water bead manufacturers, claiming their children were seriously harmed after ingesting the purportedly hazardous toys.

In many of these lawsuits, plaintiffs argue that the companies failed to adequately warn consumers about the dangers of water beads and neglected to implement sufficient safety measures in the design and packaging of the product.

As a result, they seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages incurred as a result of their injuries.

If your child got seriously hurt, needed surgery, or died because of swallowing water beads or putting them in their nose or ears, you might be able to file a water beads lawsuit. Contact a skilled attorney to assist you in filing a lawsuit.

To sum up,

Water beads may offer entertainment and sensory play, but they also present significant dangers. From the risk of choking and intestinal blockages to slippery hazards, the dangers associated with water beads are life-threatening.

A lot of children have ended up in emergency rooms, and some even died due to water beads. There will be many water beads personal injury lawsuits in the future. Lawsuits against water beads are still in the beginning stages.

Check this blog for more up-to-date information.

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MedLegal360 is a specialized author in medical-legal matters, providing clear, authoritative insights on healthcare legislation and personal injury litigation for professionals and the curious.

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