U.S. CPSC Recalls More Water Expanding Toys Due to Ingestion Risk

Government safety officials announced yet another recall for water-absorbing toys that can expand substantially in size, indicating that similar products have caused serious and sometimes fatal injuries after they were swallowed by young children, often resulting in surgery to remove the expanded toy.  

A Doodlebutt Jelly BeadZ, Jumbo BeadZ and Magic Growing Fruity Fun recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on December 12, indicating that the water absorbing balls pose a serious health risk for children.

The regulatory agency has recently been making a push to remove similar water expanding toys from the market. While no injuries have been associated with the Doodlebutt products, the CPSC indicates that it is aware of at least three incidents where similar water-absorbing polymer ball were ingested, including at least one death outside the United States.

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The recall includes Jumbo Jelly BeadZ and Magic Growing Fruity Fun water absorbing polymer-balls marketed to grow up to eight times their original size. The Jumbo Jelly Beadz were sold in packages of eight to twelve water balls ranging in different sizes with “Jelly BeadZ” and “Easy to follow directions” printed on the packaging. The balls are clear, blue, red, orange, yellow, green, and purple colors.

The Magic Growing Fruity Fun balls were sold in the shape of apples, bananas, butterflies, cherries, grapes, pineapples, roses, and strawberries. The products were packaged in a clear plastic re-sealable bag and have seven different assorted shapes of polymer balls in them. The balls are blue, green, orange, pink, red, and yellow. A label on the front of the packaging has the words “For Kidz”, “All Ages”, “Jelly BeadZ”, “Bouncy and Beautiful”, “Colorfast”, “Non Toxic”, “Safe for the Enviornment”, and other various marketing phrases used to describe the product. Certain packages have a barcode with the code “XU00EC1JRN” beneath it.

The affected polymer balls were manufactured in China under Doodlebutt of Lehigh Acres, Florida where they were sold through Amazon.com from February 2012 through September 2013 for about $9.

Expanding Toy Ball Health Concerns

A number of similar recalls have been issued for other water expanding toys, which have been sold by a number of different companies in various sizes and colors.

Due to their small size and bright colors, infants and toddlers are prone to place them in their mouth, which could result in devastating injuries if they are accidentally swallowed. Once inside the body, the balls can expand up to eight time their original size, causing bowel obstruction, vomiting, and other life threatening injuries.

The balls may not show up on x-rays or during other exams, often requiring surgery to remove the growing ball from the body after it is swallowed.

According to a study in the medical Journal Pediatrics last year, these water absorbing polymer balls are hazardous to young children and a growing problem. Each year hundreds of children are taken to the emergency room after swallowing the small colorful objects.

In December 2012, a different company recalled almost 100,000 polymer “Water Balz” designed to look like Despicable Me characters after a report of an 8-month old who swallowed the ball needed surgery to remove it.

In September roughly 30,000 Cosmo Beads and a Monster Science Growing Spider polymer balls were recalled due to similar safety concerns. That recall came just a month after a Be Amazing! Colossal Water Ball recall in August that affected another 15,000 toys.

The CPSC recommends that customers with affected products immediately take them away from children and contact Doodlebutt at (239) 313-9779 or email them at whitmana@live.com for instructions on how to receive a full refund.


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