The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently launched an investigation into toys made with superabsorbent polymers which can serious child injuries when swallowed. The toys are often marble-like objects which expand to many times their original size after being placed in water.
The CPSC and Consumer Reports are investigating the safety of these materials as several countries around the world have started banning toys made with the expanding superabsorbent polymers. Most of the overseas bans follow high-profile child deaths or emergency surgeries on children who have ingested the expanding toys.
American manufacturer Dunecraft recently recalled almost 100,000 packs of these expanding toys. The recall followed a report that a toddler had to have emergency surgery after swallowing one of the toys.
“We view the recall with Dunecraft and the incident involving the 8-month-old girl to be very serious and as a result, CPSC staff members are taking a broader look at this product class,” a CPSC spokesperson said.
It is possible that these types of toys will be considered defective products and expose the manufacturer to product liability lawsuits. Product liability litigation is common when toys prove to be dangerous to children.