Expanding Water Ball Recall Issued Due Risk of Children Swallowing

A recall has been issued for more than 15,000 water absorbing polymer balls, which were marketed under the brand names Monster Science and Super Star Science. The marble-sized balls can expand to up to 400 times their original size, posing a serious risk of injury or death if they are accidentally swallowed.  

A Be Amazing! Colossal Water Ball recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on July 31, following attempts by U.S. and Canadian safety officials to remove products of this nature from the market.

Safety regulators have determined that the small, candy-colored balls pose a particular risk for young children. The recall comes after an 8 month old girl required surgery to remove a different brand of expanding water ball.

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The products are marketed as toys for children, and the size and colors may cause infants and toddlers to place them in their mouth, posing a risk that they may be accidentally swallowed. If the water balls are swallowed, they can expand inside the body and cause bowel obstruction, vomiting, and other life threatening injuries. The water balls may not show up on x-rays or during other exams, and often surgery is required to remove the growing ball from the body after it is swallowed.

In December, a similar recall for expanding balls was issued for almost 100,000 products marketed by a different company under the brand name “Water Balz.” These products were designed in the shape of skulls, flowers, and Despicable Me characters.

In April, Consumer Reports released a statement that indicated the same materials are used in a number of other household items, which could also pose risks to children. Water-retaining pellets meant for use in gardening or flower arrangements use the same superabsorbing materials, and also start as tiny pellets that expand into larger balls. The polymer beads are banned in Italy and Malaysia, after reports involving children who had to undergo surgery to remove them from their bodies.

This latest recall affects of Monster Science Colossal Water Balls with model number 7255 and Super Star Science! Colossal Water Balls with model number 7704 sold under the name brand “Be Amazing! Toys”. The Monster Science water balls were sold in packages of 8 and contain a “growth powder” in the packaging and the Super Star Science! Water balls were sold in packages of 5. Both toys were manufactured in a variety of colors such as blue, green, orange, purple, yellow, and clear. Both packaging’s also have the “Be Amazing! Toys” star logo, the name of the toy, and a warning that indicates it is intended for use by children ages 8 and up, and only with adult supervision.

The recalled polymer water balls were manufactured in China and imported by Be Amazing! Toys of Salt Lake City where they were sold at specialty retailers and education centers as well as online at Amazon.com, BeAmazingToys.com, and World Market.com from September 2010 through November 2012 for roughly $3 per package.

The CPSC recommends that consumer take the recalled toys away from children immediately and contact Be Amazing! Toys at (877) 798-9795 or visit the website at www.beamazingtoys.com and navigate to the “Safety Recall” link for instructions on how to receive a full refund.

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