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Recall of Target’s ‘Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kit’ Follows Infant Death and Injury”

A distressing incident involving the Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kit has prompted a recall exclusively at Target stores, announced on Thursday, September 14. The recall comes in the wake of one infant’s tragic death and another’s severe injury, raising serious concerns about the safety of this product.

In a joint statement released on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Chuckle & Roar websites, it was revealed that approximately 52,000 of these kits are being recalled due to concerns about ingestion, choking, and obstruction hazards associated with the water beads included in the kit.

The statement emphasized that “water beads pose a risk of serious injury or death if ingested,” as these beads can expand in size and potentially obstruct a person’s intestine, leading to life-threatening situations.

To mitigate these risks, consumers who have purchased the Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kit are urged to immediately discontinue its use and remove the product from children’s access. The statement further advised consumers to contact Buffalo Games, the parent company, for a full refund and instructions on returning the product using a prepaid mailing package provided by the firm or by returning the product to any Target store.

The “Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kit” was sold at Target stores from March 2022 through November 2022, according to the statement.

The decision to recall this product followed reports received by Buffalo Games, the manufacturer, of a tragic incident in which a 10-month-old child died in July 2023 after accidentally ingesting a water bead from the kit. Additionally, a 9-month-old child in Maine was seriously injured in November 2022 after swallowing water beads, resulting in an intestinal obstruction that required surgical intervention to remove them.

Originally, water beads were intended for agricultural use to maintain soil moisture and found use as fluid absorbers in products like diapers. Over time, they have been marketed as children’s toys or therapies for children with sensory processing or autism spectrum disorders, further complicating the understanding of their potential risks.

The CPSC’s recall notice highlighted that in both cited cases, the mothers of the affected children were unaware of the danger of intestinal blockages posed by the water beads. These incidents underscore the need for increased awareness and safety measures surrounding such products.

Target responded to the recall by extending condolences to the affected families and confirming that the product had been removed from stores and online sales in November 2022. They advised customers who had purchased the product to return it immediately and contact Target for a full refund.

Buffalo Games, the manufacturer, expressed its deep condolences to the family of the deceased infant and stated that the product had undergone testing in accordance with CPSC regulations and Children’s Product Safety standards by an independent CPSC-approved lab, passing the necessary tests, including ASTM standards for expanding materials. The company underscored its commitment to customer safety and urged consumers to contact them for a full refund.

This recall serves as a stark reminder of the importance of stringent safety measures and parental awareness in the products we introduce to our children, especially those intended for play and sensory exploration.

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