WATER beads are brightly coloured bits of plastic that are the size of a pinhead.
But these tiny polymer crystals can be dangerous if ingested by little ones.
It was recently revealed that a baby was left with a nasty infection which could have given her brain damage.
Folichia Mitchell, mum-of-four, bought a water beads activity kit in late October for her 8-year-old son, who is on the autism spectrum.
But somehow, her 10-month-old baby daughter Kennedy got hold of the plastic beads and managed to swallow one leaving her on death’s door.
After ingesting the bead, little Kennedy was left with septicemia and now doctors have said they will have to wait until she’s older to see if she has been left with brain damage.
In order to show how these beads work, first aiders have revealed a terrifying video which shows the damage they can do.
Posting to Tiny Hearts Education on Instagram, CEO Nikki Jurcutz shows the small bead going down a tube.
As the bead hits the water, it can be seen expanding in the tube, where it then gets stuck.
The expert explained that these tiny beads can expand up to 400 times their original size when they come into contact with liquids.
Nikki said that while the beads are advertised as ‘non toxic’, if they are swallowed they can absorb liquid and expand in the intestinal tract.
This can be deadly to your child, as not only are they a choking hazard but they can cause a number of other issues.
Nikki said these are:
- skin irritation
- severe dehydration
- an obstruction in the intestines or bowel
- choking risk.
She also said that there is a risk of little ones putting them in their ears and up their nose too.
Nikki warned: “Water beads may not always show up on an x-ray or CT scan, making it tricky to identify where in the digestive system they are at.
“However, they may be spotted using ultrasound, but as with any ultrasound, some of the beads may be missed.”
The guru added that the best way to avoid danger from the beads is to not use them at all.
However, she said if you do, you should always supervise your little ones, even older children.
She added that you should also only let them play with the beads once they have been soaked in water and to educate children on the dangers of using them.
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