Water beads recalled after woman testified to Consumer Product Safety Commission

A water bead kit was recalled earlier in the month after a determined mother spoke with the Consumer Product Safety Commission about the experience she went through with her now almost 2-year-old after he ingested some of the beads last fall.

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Around 52,000 Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Bead Activity Kits that were sold at Target were recalled because they can pose choking or intestinal obstruction hazards, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a recall on Sept. 14.

There was a report of a 10-month-old child who died after swallowing a water bead in July 2023. A 9-month-old child was injured in November 2022 when she ate one and it caused an intestinal obstruction that needed surgery, the CPSC said.

Another child, according to WFTV, nearly died last fall due to the water beads. His name is Henry Gent and he will turning 2 in a few weeks.

Henry Gent swallowed a few of the tiny water beads from a toy that his older sister had but as the beads inside his body started to absorb liquid, they grew and blocked his intestine, according to the news outlet.

Henry Gent’s mother, Sara Gent, contacted the CPSC and worked with other parents to petition the products, hoping that they would be removed from store shelves to prevent other similar injuries to other children.

“He became so lethargic, he didn’t even open his eyes when he threw up his first water bead. I saw it and my heart sank to my feet. I knew what it was right away,” Gent told Commissioners in May, according to WFTV.

Sara Gent and other parents’ efforts paid off when the CPSC announced a manufacturer recall for the same brand of water beads -- but a different kit than the one her daughter had -- earlier in the month, according to the news outlet.

“We know it’s an uphill battle, and we’re really grateful that there is a step in the right direction,” Gent said. “But it’s hard when you see babies going through the same thing that your son did, and companies just aren’t stopping, and they have the capability to stop it, and they’re not. It is frustrating, it really is.”

Target told WFTV that the water bead kit was removed from stores in November 2022.

If a child ingests a water bead from the Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Bead Activity Kit it can pose choking or intestinal obstruction hazards, the CPSC said. The child could have “severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration and a risk of death.”

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