Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- In a proactive move to protect children from potential life-threatening injuries associated with water beads, Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Representative Brittany Pettersen (D-CO), alongside Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), introduced legislation aimed at banning water bead products marketed specifically for children. The timely introduction comes ahead of the holiday shopping season when such items often increase consumer demand.
Water Beads Swell to 100 Times Original Size when Swallowed
Water beads are commonly promoted as ‘non-toxic’ and seemingly harmless. However, they have raised concerns due to their potential to cause severe harm when ingested by children. Despite their innocent appearance, these tiny polymer beads can lead to life-threatening injuries as they absorb fluids and swell to 100 times their original size when swallowed.
The representatives encourage parents to exercise caution and avoid purchasing these seemingly innocuous toys during the festive shopping spree. The legislation awaits consideration in the House.
Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Chair of the CBC Health Braintrust, emphasized safeguarding children during the holiday season. She stated, “Parents should not have to shoulder the burden of determining which toys they see on the shelves are safe for their children to play with. Ahead of the holiday season, I am joining Ranking Member Pallone and Rep. Pettersen to ban harmful water beads. Parents and children deserve a happy holiday season without worrying that a toy could cause life-threatening harm.”
Reps. Pallone and Patterson
Ranking Member Pallone underscored the issue’s urgency as the holiday shopping season commences. He warned, “Water beads, often sold as toys, crafts, or sensory tools, come in bright colors and themes to attract children’s attention. While they may seem harmless—and are often labeled ‘non-toxic’—water beads can cause devastating and life-threatening injuries to children. The small polymer beads absorb fluid and can swell to 100 times their original size when swallowed.”
Expressing concern about the widespread availability of these hazardous products, Pallone added, “Unfortunately, these products aren’t hard to get and are easily purchased online and from big box stores who are marketing them to children despite thousands of emergency room visits caused by water beads in recent years.”
The introduced legislation addresses this pressing issue and eliminates the potential risk water beads pose to children. In the meantime, Representative Pallone urges all holiday shoppers to exercise vigilance. She favors excluding water beads from lists, emphasizing the importance of collective efforts to remove these products from store shelves.