Poison control issues warning over toy that ‘looks like candy’ but can cause serious harm

Poison control is warning parents about small toys that appear harmless but can seriously hurt their kids.

As reported during News Center 7 at 6, poison control across the country is warning parents about “water beads.”

They are small toys that expand when they’re put in water and if ingested they can seriously injure kids.

The Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital said calls regarding water beads have increased in Ohio over the last four years.

Since 2021, they’ve gotten more than 300 calls because of the small toy.

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Our sister station WSB-TV in Atlanta spoke with doctors who have had to treat children who ingested water beads.

“They look non-descript. These easily look like candy and just one can grow to the size of a racquetball,” Georgia Poison Center Director Dr. Gaylord Lopez told WSB.

Last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an alert on the potential dangers of water beads.

The agency reported nearly 8,000 child hospitalizations in recent years and one death.

“Over eighty percent of the calls to us involve children under the age of six,” Lopez said.

Lopez said parents with young children should not have water beads in the home.

Last month, several large retailers including Walmart and Target stopped selling water beads.