Water beads have led to nearly 8,000 hospitalizations & the death of at least one child
[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is calling on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to swiftly remove dangerous water bead toys from the market amid thousands of injuries and at least one death.
“I urge the [CPSC] to take steps to remove these dangerous products from the market—especially those that are sold as toys for children,” wrote Blumenthal in a letter to CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric.
Water beads, often marketed to parents as safe and educational toys for children, can look like candy and expand up to the size of a tennis ball if swallowed, leading to life-threatening intestinal blockages, lifelong injuries, and even death. When dry, they can be the size of a pinhead, making them nearly undetectable if dropped on the floor or spilled in a playroom. Water beads are estimated to have led to 7,800 hospitalizations between 2016 and 2022, and the death of at least one child. The CPSC recently recalled one water bead toy, but many others remain on the market, with little to no safety warnings to parents and caregivers, putting children at risk.
“Given the continued widespread marketing of these products and the potential life-threatening injuries to children, it is imperative that the CPSC take the necessary steps to remove these products from the reach of children and unsuspecting parents,” Blumenthal continued, asking a series of questions regarding the scope of the issue and authorities CPSC requires to most effectively ensure consumer safety.
The full text of the letter is available here.