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Retailers Cease Sale of Water Beads Amid Safety Concerns

Major retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, and Target, have ceased selling certain water beads following warnings from federal safety regulators about serious safety risks. Water beads, commonly marketed as sensory toys for kids, have raised concerns due to potential hazards if swallowed, leading to choking and intestinal obstructions.

Target confirmed that it will no longer sell water beads marketed to children under 13, citing growing safety concerns. Amazon updated its policy, stating that it will no longer sell water beads marketed to children, including as toys, art supplies, or for sensory play. Walmart also voluntarily stopped selling expanding water bead toy and craft items marketed to young children, specifically those under 9 years old.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) previously highlighted the dangers of water beads, emphasizing the risks of ingestion, which can lead to severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration, and a potential risk of death to the child. CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric announced the safety concerns in September, citing reports from numerous parents about grievous injuries and fatalities resulting from children ingesting the product.

The retailers’ decisions to discontinue the sale of water beads underscore their commitment to product safety and align with the CPSC’s warnings. The move reflects a proactive approach to preventing potential harm to children and demonstrates the significance of addressing safety concerns promptly. Consumers are encouraged to stay informed about product safety alerts and adhere to guidance provided by regulatory authorities to ensure the well-being of children.

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