Baby Receives Surgery After Swallowing Expanding Ball
If you thought Buckeyballs were dangerous, you haven’t heard of the polymer ball.
8-month-old baby Aunraya was experiencing serious digestive issues, causing her great grandmother and legal guardian to rush her to the hospital. Doctors later found a huge ball that was completely blocking the infant’s digestive track and causing her to vomit and experience painful constipation.
Apparently, Aunraya ate a “small piece of candy” which turned out to be a Water Balz toy which expands up to 400 times its original size when subjected to moisture. And true enough, when the baby swallowed the toy, it had indeed expanded to almost 4 centimeters.
“We were fortunate enough that we did surgery early enough,” Dr. Olutoye, a pediatric surgeon at the Texas Children’s Hospital said. “If the treatment is delayed, there could be perforation with peritonitis.”
“We are trying to sound the alarm as the prevalence of the balls is increasing,” he added. “While they are fun and make good science projects, [they] can have disastrous consequence when ingested.”
“[These toys are] obviously not for an 8-month-old,” explained Grant Cleveland, CEO of Dunecraft, Inc. who produces the Water Balz toy. “You wouldn’t let your 8-month-old near change or marbles. Even Legos are dangerous to an 8-month-old. The marked age is 4 and up, so they’re not supposed to be around toddlers. We’ve sold all types of balls, probably for like eight years. We’ve never had a problem, shipping millions of units.”
Baby Aunraya has now been released from the hospital, following her surgery.