These soft and colorful water-absorbing polymer balls can be easily mistaken by a child for candy. When the marble-sized toy is ingested, it can expand inside a child’s body and cause intestinal obstructions, resulting in severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration and could be life threatening. The toys do not show up on an x-ray and require surgery to be removed from the body.
This recall involves more than 15,000 marble-sized toys that absorb water and grow up to 400 times their original size. They were sold as Monster Science Colossal Water Balls (model #7255) and Super Star Science! Colossal Water Balls (model #7704). The government is aware of at least one incident with a similar water-absorbing polymer ball product in which an 8-month-old girl ingested the ball and it had to be surgically removed.
Parents and caregivers should always keep in mind how a product will appear to a child in a school or household setting. Many toys are bright and colorful, and even intentionally designed to resemble food or candy, inviting ingestion and choking injuries. If a toy, or one of its components, is small enough to be mouthed or swallowed, it should not be purchased for use in an environment with small children. Manufacturers and retailers of such toys must also pay more attention to safety issues associated with the marketing and sale of these items.
Sadly, many serious injuries and deaths have occurred over the years due to ingestion of small parts by oral-age children. Please be vigilant regarding not only the design of toys, but also the packaging and inserts with small parts warnings and instructions.
Toys and children’s products may be hazardous because of a defective design, or due to poor manufacturing, misleadingly advertised, inaccurate labels, or inadequate cautions or warnings. If you have questions about these issues, feel free to contact a personal injury lawyer at Swartz and Swartz PC at (617) 742-1900 or Toll Free at (800) 545-3732.