Ban water beads from the market!

Water beads are marketed as a fun 'sensory' toy for children, little gel balls that expand in water for kids to squeeze and squish. "Fully tested and exceeds all children's toy safety requirements," trumpets one online ad.

But a recent investigation by Consumer Reports found that these toys can be deadly, and are sending thousands to the emergency room each year. The tiny gel balls that look like cupcake sprinkles or candy can grow to the size of a marble or golf ball in water — finding their way into the stomachs and intestines of infants and toddlers, where they can expand and cause horrific injuries or death.

Despite mounting evidence of the widespread dangers of these products, and a recent recall of one product, water beads are still being sold to unsuspecting parents as safe — putting countless children at risk! Join us in demanding the Consumer Product Safety Commission stop the sale of water beads for kids, and secure recalls for those already on the market.

According to the CPSC, there were an estimated 4,500 visits to the emergency room between 2017 and 2021 related to water beads — a number experts say is a dramatic undercount. Once inside little bodies, the expanding beads can contribute to bowel obstructions that require the surgical removal of intestines, blocked airways that can lead to lung collapse, and even death.

Yet the packaging of many water bead brands have vastly inadequate safety warnings that make no mention of any of these risks. And our investigation found that some water bead manufacturers and retailers allegedly were aware of these injuries but chose not to recall their products.

It's time the nation's product safety watchdog gets these dangerous toys off the market. Join Consumer Reports in calling for an end to the sale of water beads for kids, and urgent recalls of these products on the market.
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