A Wisconsin mother is issuing a warning after her baby daughter died after ingesting a common household item.
The story reported in The Express, involved the young baby passing away a few weeks before her first birthday.
The little girl, Esther Jo Bethard, lived in southeast Wisconsin with her parents and siblings.
The child had swallowed a water bead and her parents did not know about it until after her death.
Water beads are commonly used for decorating plants. They are commonly used by florists. They are also used as fluid absorbers in baby diapers, pads, and incontinence garments.
Surprisingly, some water beads are also being sold as toys. They are brightly colored, resemble candy, and are attractive to young children. They also expand in size when they become wet.
Swallowing a water bead can cause intestinal damage.
Esther's mother now wants water beads to be banned. She says,
"Water beads should be banned/recalled and no longer allowed to be marketed as a children's toy."
She also states that if she had known about the deadly risks involving water beads, she would not have allowed them in her home.
The Consumer Public Safety Commission is looking into the incident. In response to the tragedy, their message is,
"We have been working with industry to improve the relevant standards for these products and are considering additional rulemaking options should they not do so in a timely manner. We strongly encourage parents and caregivers to report any incidents with this product to us at SaferProducts.gov."