A water bead kit sold exclusively at Target was recalled on Thursday, Sept. 14, after the death of one infant and the serious injury of another.
"The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Buffalo Games LLC, of Buffalo, New York, are announcing the recall of about 52,000 Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kits due to ingestion, choking and obstruction hazards," said a statement released on the CPSC and Chuckle & Roar websites on Thursday morning.
The statement explained that "water beads pose a risk of serious injury or death if ingested," as the beads will grow in size and potentially block a person's intestine.
"Consumers should immediately stop using and take away the recalled water beads from children. Contact Buffalo Games for a full refund and instructions on how to return the product in a prepaid mailing package supplied by the firm or return the product to any Target store," the statement noted.
The "Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kit" was sold at Target from March 2022 through November 2022, the statement indicated.
The decision to recall the product was made after Buffalo Games received word that a 10-month-old child died in July 2023 after accidentally ingesting a water bead.
"Buffalo Games also received a report that a 9-month-old child was seriously injured in November 2022 in Maine from swallowing the water beads, which caused an intestinal obstruction requiring surgery to remove them," said the statement.
Initially, water beads were used as "agricultural products intended to maintain soil moisture," according to Poison.org, a website that tracks hazardous products.
The water beads are also used as fluid absorbers in products such as diapers.
Dehydrated water beads are about the size of a pinhead. They swell to many times that size when they are in contact with liquid.
Water beads are also "marketed as children’s toys or therapies for children with sensory processing or autism spectrum disorders," the website notes.
In the two specific cases cited in the CPSC's recall notice, the mothers of both children told Fox News Digital earlier that they were unaware of the risk of intestinal blockages posed by the beads.
The mothers said the kits had been purchased for their older children when their young daughters unknowingly swallowed the water beads.
Ashley Haugen, a San Antonio-based mother of two and owner of "That Water Bead Lady" website, told Fox News Digital that more can be done.
Haugen's own daughter was seriously injured after she accidentally ingested a water bead in 2017.
Since then, Haugen has been an advocate for water bead safety.
She told FOX Business, "Today we won a battle — but our fight is far from over."
Chuckle & Roar notes on its website that the "Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kits" were manufactured in China.