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“Toys” known as water beads can be life-threatening. The beads come in different sizes, feel squishy when touched, and often look like candy to children. The danger is their appeal to kids. When soaked in water, they grow in size — and become choking hazards. If your child swallowed a water bead and was injured, requiring a visit to the ER, consider filing a lawsuit to get compensation.

What Are Water Beads?

Water beads are intended to encourage sensory experiences. They are marketed as toys for children of all ages. According to Consumer Reports, “These ‘sensory’ toys—little expanding gel balls” were meant to be squeezed, squished, and scooped. (1)

Millions of water bead packages have been sold. They come in different sizes and colors. Some packages may contain thousands of tiny beads. (2)

Some water beads start out as small as cake sprinkles, others the size of grapes. When soaked in water, they grow. Sometimes they grow as large as grapes. Sometimes they increase to the size of golf balls. (3)

Water beads are made of superabsorbent polymers. These polymers were first used decades ago for agricultural uses and also for absorbent diapers. Nowadays, manufacturers may market them as non-toxic sensory toys. You can find them across the country in homes, as well as schools. (4)

Water Bead Causes Injuries

More than 4,500 children have ended up in emergency rooms because they swallowed water beads. Water beads have been found in infant and toddler stomachs, intestines, lungs, noses, and ears.

Once inside your child’s body, the water beads can lead to many possible health complications, including: (5)

  • Death.
  • Blocked airways leading to lung collapse.
  • Bowel obstructions requiring surgery.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Infections.

“Manufacturers and sellers of water beads have seriously misled consumers,” says Ellen Relkin, a Weitz & Luxenberg partner and practice group chair. “They have marketed these products to children, claiming the beads are non-toxic and are safe toys for kids. But the packaging and labeling in no way adequately warn parents of the enormous potential physical dangers.”

She continues, “Our team is investigating data regarding the knowledge of water bead manufacturers and distributors of the potential for life-threatening injuries to children. Instead of doing something to fix the situation, they chose not to take reasonable measures to safeguard the public. This is not acceptable, and we will take every legal measure possible to hold these irresponsible companies accountable.”

One congressman is so concerned about the dangers of water beads that he is introducing The Ban Water Beads Act to protect our children. (6)

File a Water Beads Lawsuit

People across the country purchased these seemingly innocent, safe children’s toys.

If your child was a victim of this dangerous toy and needed to visit the ER, consult with a W&L attorney. Filing a lawsuit may get you compensation for your child’s pain and suffering, as well as paying for the medical bills.

The lawyer you hire should have extensive experience handling personal injury lawsuits. W&L’s Ms. Relkin does.

How W&L Can Help

Weitz & Luxenberg is a national law firm with nearly 40 years of experience behind us. We have made it our mission to help regular people harmed by corporate giants — including toy manufacturers.

Many of our cases involve lawsuits where large groups of people have been harmed. This includes cases of dangerous toxic chemicals in consumer productsespecially baby products.

We are prepared to take your fight all the way. We have a solid history of winning cases for clients who have been seriously injured.

Over the years, we have secured more than $19 billion dollars on behalf of our clients ranging from asbestos, pharmaceutical and medical device products, and other dangerous and toxic products. This includes numerous confidential settlements on behalf of babies, children, and adults who had injuries including strokes and death following the use of recalled cold and cough medications containing phenylpropanolamine, that caused hemorrhagic strokes. (7)

To find out more about how we can help your family, call W&L at (833) 544-0604. Or fill out our online form. There is no cost to you for an initial consultation.

  1. Kirchner, L. (2023, September 21). Consumer Reports. 'Nobody Should Lose Their Child Over a Toy'. Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/babies-kids/toys/water-beads-pose-a-serious-safety-risk-to-children-a6431187819/
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Diamond, M.L. (2023, November 14). USA TODAY NETWORK. 'None that are safe': Colorful water beads are child killers so ban them, lawmaker says. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/11/14/water-beads-kill-children-consumer-advocates-push-ban/71580802007/
  7. In re Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), 2003 WL 22417238 N.J.Super.L., 2003. (2003, July 21) Retrieved from https://cdn.mazieslater.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/13003457/PPA.pdf

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