Water beads are causing serious concerns and parents are being warned of the potentially deadly risk these pose to children.
Made from super absorbent polymer, water beads are soaked in water and swell up to 400 times their original size.
Potentially deadly, if a child does swallow a water bead it could cause an obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract and cause serious complications.
Reports have emerged that a 6 month old child has died after developing sepsis after surgery to remove a water bead obstructing the jejunum (within the small intestine).
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has urged companies not to market water beads as toys and have alerted consumers to the potential risks. Water beads continue to be sold as “fairy eggs”, “jelly beads” and “hydro orbs” on toy shelves.
Many educators and parents use water beads as a sensory experience for children as they have a smooth jelly like texture and have a calming effect when manipulated. For those who want to continue using water beads, please make sure that you understand these risks and closely supervise children.
It’s important to understand the risks associated with these products and if a child swallows a water bead they should be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible.
AAP (2016), Water Beads Posing a Serious Problem, Nine News