Fight for Justice with Expert Product Liability Attorneys After Injuries from Unsafe Water Bead Toys
ASTM International, the entity responsible for setting voluntary safety guidelines for various products, including children’s toys, has instigated a task force to investigate the safety of water bead toys.
The formation of the task force follows alerts from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Poison Control Center about the potential dangers of water beads.
The step was also prompted by several accounts from parents about injuries their kids suffered after consuming water beads, the most recent report coming from a mother of three in Iowa.
Hannah Rief, hailing from Hastings, Iowa, noticed her 14-month-old daughter Letty exhibiting severe vomiting earlier this month, which indicated something was amiss.
Rief, also a mother to two older kids aged 8 and 3, sought medical attention for Letty twice at the local emergency room. On the second occasion, the doctors decided to transfer Letty via ambulance to a nearby children’s hospital. Despite their efforts, doctors at the children’s hospital struggled to diagnose Letty’s problem, says Rief. She considered if Letty had ingested something, despite her insistence on keeping small items out of reach due to her daughter’s age.
Rief said the doctors considered a blockage in Letty’s stomach, but didn’t necessarily attribute it to a foreign object.
Amid the uncertainty, Rief found the scariest part to be Letty’s lifeless state. Finally, the surgeon decided to perform surgery and determine the problem without further delay.
During the operation, a one-inch water bead was discovered lodged in Letty’s small intestine.
Rief expressed her shock when doctors told her what they had discovered, recalling how her eldest child received a water bead toy as a birthday present two years ago, before Letty was born.
Rief recollected how the water beads scattered across the floor while the kids were playing with the toy in their playroom.
After letting the beads dry out, Rief vacuumed the playroom multiple times, believing she had removed all of them. But she said Letty must have found a bead left in the carpet and swallowed it two years later while playing there.
Rief considered the possibility of Letty having ingested something causing her sickness, but didn’t suspect a water bead since she believed there were none in her house.
The fluid-filled water bead, which looked the same color as Letty’s intestines on an X-ray or ultrasound, caused doctors to have difficulty determining what the obstruction was.
“The delay in diagnosis and treatment was due to this,” Rief said. “I was extremely worried about a rupture, and the subsequent sepsis that she would develop if it did.”
Doctors successfully removed the water bead from Letty’s stomach, Rief said. After a week-long hospital stay, Letty is now back home and is expected to recover fully, according to Rief.
Mother Calls for Improved Safety Warnings on Water Bead Products
According to the National Poison Control Center, water beads are primarily composed of synthetic superabsorbent polymers that can grow from the size of a marble to that of a tennis ball when they come in contact with water.
While initially meant to retain soil moisture in plants, water beads now find their application in baby diapers, incontinence products, and menstrual pads for fluid absorption. They are also “promoted as toys for kids or therapies for children suffering from sensory processing or autism spectrum disorders,” says the center.
Ingesting water beads can cause them to expand within the body, potentially leading to life-threatening intestinal blockages, warns the center.
Past warnings about various water bead or water ball products causing intestinal blockages and damage have been issued by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
A CPSC spokesperson advised caregivers to report any incidents related to water bead products to SaferProducts.gov, a CPSC-run website that provides information about product recalls, consumer complaints, and safety issues.
The spokesperson said, “We are cognizant of incidents involving water beads. We are collaborating with the voluntary standards community to enhance the safety of water beads,” and strongly encouraged parents and caregivers to report any issues with this product to the aforementioned website.
The spokesperson said, “The group will deliberate and decide if proposed changes or new additions to the standard, F963 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, are required.” The ASTM F963 standard is mandated under U.S. law and is regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
After her family’s ordeal, Rief hopes manufacturers of water bead products will clearly list the risks on the product packaging. Rief pointed to the product warnings her daughter received as a gift which said, “Not suitable for children under the age of 3. Choking hazard,” and added, “Never did I think it could cause an intestinal blockage, lodge in your child’s body, and necessitate emergency surgery.” She said she would have thrown the package away without opening it if she had known.
What Caregivers Need to Know
The National Poison Control Center recommends that anyone who has swallowed a water bead or knows someone who has done so should immediately contact Poison Control by visiting Poison.org or calling 1-800-222-1222.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to look for signs like abdominal pain, constipation, drooling, vomiting, food refusal, wheezing, and complaints of something stuck in the throat or chest.
The AAP also cautions that children may insert water beads into their ears, which also necessitates immediate medical attention.
Moreover, the agency advises to keep water beads away from young children and seek immediate medical attention if ingestion is suspected.
Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries similar to those described in the article due to water bead products, you may be entitled to file a product liability lawsuit. These lawsuits seek to hold manufacturers accountable when their products, sold to be safe, end up causing harm. In such cases, you can seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
Why You Need an Experienced Product Liability Attorney
Product liability cases can be complex and require a deep understanding of the laws, rules, and regulations surrounding consumer products and safety standards. Moreover, going up against large manufacturers can be intimidating and overwhelming. It’s crucial to have an experienced product liability attorney in your corner, fighting for your rights.
Choosing the Right Attorney
When choosing an attorney, it’s important to consider their expertise in the specific area of law, their track record in handling similar cases, and their commitment to their clients. You want an attorney who not only understands the intricacies of product liability law but also has the skills and resources to challenge large corporations effectively.
Why Choose Parker Waichman LLP?
Parker Waichman LLP is a renowned law firm that specializes in product liability cases. They have a wealth of experience handling lawsuits involving defective products and have secured significant settlements for their clients. Parker Waichman LLP is nationally recognized for its aggressive representation and commitment to obtaining the best possible results for their clients. Their attorneys will not rest until justice is served.
Parker Waichman LLP is dedicated to ensuring that their clients are heard, that corporations are held accountable, and that justice is achieved for those injured due to defective products. They understand the physical, emotional, and financial burdens that come with these kinds of injuries and will fight relentlessly on your behalf.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a water bead product, don’t hesitate to take action. Contact the experienced product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let them guide you through this challenging time and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Call their national toll-free number 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today. Remember, you don’t have to face this alone – Parker Waichman LLP is here to help.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm caused by water beads and other consumer products. For your free consultation, contact our national water bead injury law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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