- Target has removed water beads by the brand Chuckle & Roar from its shelves.
- A 10-month-old baby almost died from swallowing one, Insider previously reported.
- Target told Insider that it had withdrawn the product while it reviewed the “tragic” situation.
Retail giant Target has stopped selling the water beads that almost caused the death of a baby girl.
Insider previously reported that Kennedy Mitchell, who is 10 months old, was given a 50% chance of survival after accidentally swallowing one of the beads made by Chuckle & Roar. Her mother, Folichia Mitchell, purchased them for her 9-year-old son, Joshua, at Target on October 24.
The mother described her shock when doctors said that a bead had caused a blockage in Kennedy’s bowel. The little girl has now had a total of five surgeries. She is still in the hospital.
“I couldn’t imagine how Kennedy, who was barely crawling, had managed to swallow one of the beads,” Mitchell told Insider.
Target, which exclusively sold Chuckle & Roar’s water beads, said in a statement to Insider on Monday that it was “aware of this tragic situation.”
It added, “We have removed the product from stores and Target.com while we review the situation with the vendor.”
The chain told Insider that it sends “heartfelt sympathy to this child and her family.” It said that it requires its “vendors to comply with all product safety standards, and all state, federal and local laws.”
The water beads that Mitchell bought for Joshua were made by the company Chuckle & Roar.
Mitchell reacted to Target’s action of removing the water beads in an email to Insider. “I’m very happy others can be safe and also sad because the damage to Kennedy is already done,” she wrote Monday.
She said in her earlier interview with Insider that she wanted to warn other parents about the risk of water beads to children such as Kennedy.
“Since we found the cause of her issues was from ingesting a bead, I’ve become angrier with the companies who make water beads,” she said.
The 29-year-old added, “The label says they should be used only by kids over 3. But the makers have got to add a warning that water beads could cause a blockage in the digestive system that could lead to death.”
In her email to Insider, Mitchell wrote that Target’s latest actions have given her, “a small sense of relief to know other families aren’t at risk of something so horrifying.”
When asked about other brands of water beads being sold online and in stores, Target said in an email that “we can confirm that Target is not removing additional water beads products and we’d refer all questions about the packaging to the manufacturer.”
Insider contacted Chuckle & Roar for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.
Buffalo Games, which owns Chuckle & Roar, issued a statement today to Good Morning America saying it was determining whether “any action is needed” now that it knew of Kennedy’s case.
The statement said, “It was recently reported to Buffalo Games that an infant required surgery after ingesting a water bead from the Ultimate Water Beads kit. Buffalo Games investigated and confirmed with Bureau Veritas, a leading third-party testing laboratory, that the Ultimate Water Beads product does meet all current ASTM and CPSIA standards for toy safety in the United States, and has all required warnings and information on package, including a Choking Hazard and that the product is specified for Ages 4+. “It went on, “However, as consumer safety is paramount to Buffalo Games, we are in the process of evaluating the situation and determining if any action is needed.”
Mitchell told Insider that she’d reached out to Chuckle & Roar before Target’s action on Monday. She said the company had replied in an email. It read, “We hope your daughter is OK,” and “We assure you that the product has passed all of its safety requirements.”
The firm said in its statement to GMA, “We wish Ms. Mitchell’s daughter a speedy and full recovery.”