In a recent development, major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target have made significant changes to their policies regarding the sale of water beads. This decision comes after federal safety regulators warned about the serious safety risks of these popular sensory toys for children.
In response to the growing safety concerns, Target has decided to no longer sell water beads marketed to children under 13. This change applies to both in-store and online sales. A spokesperson for Target stated, “Given growing safety concerns, we will no longer sell water beads marketed to children.”
Similarly, Amazon has updated its water-bead policy and will no longer offer the product if it is marketed to children. This includes water beads sold as toys, art supplies, or for sensory play. An Amazon spokesperson emphasized their commitment to ensuring the safety of products sold on their platform, stating, “We work hard to ensure the products offered in our store are safe.”
Walmart has also taken action by voluntarily discontinuing the sale of expanding water bead toys and craft items marketed to young children. They have tried removing these products from their stores and online platforms. According to Walmart, this change applies to children under nine.
The concern surrounding water beads stems from their potential hazards if swallowed. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chair, Alexander Hoehn-Saric, has warned that if ingested, these beads can expand and cause choking and intestinal obstruction in small children. The consequences of ingestion can include severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration, and even a risk of death to the child.
The CPSC has received reports from numerous parents whose children have experienced grievous injuries or even lost their lives after ingesting water beads. While the exact number of reports has not been disclosed, the seriousness of these incidents has prompted retailers and safety regulators to take swift action.
This recent shift in policy by significant retailers reflects their commitment to ensuring the safety of children and the importance of responding to potential risks. By discontinuing the sale of water beads marketed to young children, these retailers are taking proactive steps to prevent further harm. It serves as a reminder to consumers to remain vigilant regarding the safety of toys and other products intended for children.