Mistaken for candy, these decorative accessories swell dangerously: keep children away!

Mistaken for candy these decorative accessories swell dangerously keep children

Children are always attracted to colorful elements, but certain objects should be avoided by toddlers, such as these mini bubbles, generally used for decoration.

Some accessories are rather practical on a daily basis, while remaining aesthetically pleasing in the home. You have probably already seen, among friends, or yourself used small decorative beads to prop cut flowers in a vase or to bring a little cheerfulness to your interior? The problem is that these water beads, small and of all colors, are often confused with candy by children, who only want to put them in their mouths. Above all, they represent a real danger for children.

These small balls reach the size of a golf ball

In 2018, poison control centers recorded an increase in the number of cases of ingestion of water beads, from 2 cases in 2010 to 54 cases in 2018.Half of them concerned children under 3 years old” alerted in 2021 the Coves. And for good reason : ingestion of water beads or beads can cause serious accidents, sometimes fatal. Indeed, if they have not reached their maximum size when the child swallows them, the beads can continue to swell in the digestive tract and cause intestinal obstruction. These water beads absorb 400 times their weight in water and can therefore increase in volume several hours after swallowing them. A recent Consumer Reports study shows just how big these little beads get when swallowed. In 36 hours, they go from the size of a Cheerio to the size of a golf ball!

Water beads soaked in water for 36 hours can grow to the size of a golf ball © Consumer Reports

In December 2019, the General Directorate of Health (DGS), the General Directorate of Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression (DGCCRF), and the National Food Safety Agency, environment and work (ANSES) had already warned about these accidents among toddlers. “The most serious cases may require major surgery and are sometimes fatal if left untreated. Like all small objects, they can also pose a risk of suffocation.“recalled the health authorities.

If you have water beads at home as decoration, make sure that children do not have access to them. In the event of ingestion, even if suspected, it is advisable to immediately contact the poison Control Center who will advise you depending on the situation and in case of emergency, to dial 15 or 112.