Jelly BeadZ, Jumbo BeadZ, Magic Growing Fruity Fun … boy, do those toys sound like fun. Boy, are they dangerous. So much so that their manufacturer, Doodlebutt, has recalled them from the market.
In its announcement of the recall, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) explained that the water-absorbing toys expand so much that they pose a fatal threat if a kid swallows one. Sometimes, surgery is required to remove the expanded toy.
As explained on AboutLawsuits.com, for a while the CPSC has been removing certain water-expanding toys from the market. No injuries have been associated with the Doodlebutt toys, but the CPSC is aware of at least three incidents in which similar toys were ingested, including at least one death.
The recalled water-absorbing polymer-balls are promoted as being able to grow as much as eight times larger than their original size. Jelly Beadz were sold in packages of eight to 12 water balls ranging in different sizes and colors.
Magic Growing Fruity Fun balls came in the shape of apples, bananas, butterflies, cherries, grapes, pineapples, roses and strawberries, also in different colors. The label says they’re “For Kidz,” “All Ages,” “Bouncy and Beautiful,” “Colorfast,” “Non Toxic” and “Safe for the Environment” … but not, apparently, for your kids.
The recalled Doodlebutt products were sold through Amazon.com from February 2012 through September 2013. If you have any, get rid of them, or restrict their use to older kids who won’t ingest them. To get a refund, call Doodlebutt at (239) 313-9779 or email the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other water-expanding toys made by different companies also have been yanked from the market. Because they’re small and colorful, infants and toddlers like to put them in their mouths; if swallowed, they can cause bowel obstruction, vomiting and life-threatening injuries. Sometimes they’re not indicated on X-rays or during exams, which requires exploratory surgery for removal.
According to the journal Pediatrics, these toys are of growing concern. The publication recalled the case of one 8-month-old who developed complete bowel obstruction after swallowing a superabsorbent polymer ball advertised to grow as much as 400 times its original size.
That child was playing with Water Balz, designed to look like characters from “Despicable Me.” They were recalled last year.
In September, according to AboutLawsuits, some 30,000 Cosmo Beads and Monster Science Growing Spider polymer balls were recalled for safety concerns. August saw the recall of about 15,000 Be Amazing! Colossal Water Ball toys.
Clearly, these products do not belong near young children.