Target pulls water bead toy from the shelves after baby suffers … –

Target has pulled a popular water beads toy after a mom says her infant daughter swallowed one and needed emergency surgery.
A popular water beads set is being yanked from the shelves at Target, and it might have some parents and caregivers reevaluating their latest toy purchases. Last week, the retailer announced they are temporarily halting sales of a sensory kit that contains water beads after a mom on TikTok says her 10-month-old accidentally swallowed one of the beads and nearly died.
In early November, mom Folichia Mitchell shared on TikTok that her then 9-month-old, Kennedy, had begun a “fight for her life.” Mitchell says she took her daughter to the emergency room for symptoms that included vomiting and acting lethargic. She thought the baby might be having an allergic reaction. Instead, doctors found the infant had swallowed a water bead, and she was rushed into emergency surgery.
Recap #waterbeadinjury #picu #ineedallyourhelp #spreadtheword #mykenny🤍 #momx4✨ #prayersneeded #healingtiktok #warriorbaby @target CHUCKLEANDROAR ultimate water beads
Following the emergency surgery, Mitchell’s infant daughter didn’t immediately recover. Instead, Kennedy developed an infection. Some of her organs began to fail, and doctors warned Mitchell that her baby may not make it. The infant required four more surgeries and was hospitalized for more than a month.
Water beads are small, gel balls that can absorb large quantities of water. They’re sold under many brand names, but Mitchell tells “Good Morning America” that the water bead her daughter swallowed came from a Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Bead sensory kit she’d purchased for her 8-year-old son who has autism. At the time, Mitchell didn’t know about all the warnings associated with the beads.
Water beads are classified as being non-toxic, but their super absorbency poses a huge risk for young kids. Water beads can absorb enough liquid to increase their size by 150-1500 times, according to the National Poison Control Center. This means the beads can expand in the digestive tract, sometimes causing life-threatening intestinal blockages.
At least one child death has been linked to water beads, and several others have been injured. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions that water beads look similar to candy, which makes them especially tempting for young kids. In one case, the AAP reports a 2-year-old swallowed more than 100 of the beads. Some kids have also put the beads inside of their ears.
On TikTok, Mitchell says the water bead toy she had at home had a choking warning on the box but offered “no warning of what happens when ingested.” Other parents and caregivers were equally unaware. In the comments on Mitchell’s TikTok post, one person writes, “Your video made me email my daughter’s day care director. They use them for sensory play. Not anymore! They had no idea they were so dangerous.”
Mitchell and her daughter are back to home now, but Kennedy has a temporary feeding tube and still requires a high level of care. Mitchell has documented her daughter’s recovery in dozens of videos. Her posts about their harrowing ordeal have been shared thousands of times and attracted the attention of major news outlets and retailers.
From this morning #justiceforkennedy #mykenny🤍 #warriorbaby #backhomejourney #ngfeed #healingtiktok #kennedyjanem #momx4✨
Last week, Target announced it was removing the Chuckle and Roar Ultimate Water Beads kit from shelves, pending an investigation. In a statement to CBS News, a representative for the retailer said they are aware of Mitchell’s “tragic situation” and that Target “requires our vendors to comply with all product safety standards, and all state, federal and local laws.”
Target has removed a toy by Chuckle & Roar that includes water beads. The small expanding balls are often used in sensory kits, which are popular for children with autism.
It’s unknown if Target will expand the action to include other water bead toys. According to Chuckle & Roar’s website, their toys are exclusively sold at Target; however, water beads are manufactured by several toymakers and sold at stores all over the U.S. Though the toy has been temporarily removed, Mitchell says she will never stop fighting to warn other parents about what happened to her daughter.
“There are alternatives to water beads for sensory play,” Mitchell says in an update. “There are not alternatives to my child’s life.”
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