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Greg Webb
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Ingestion Danger Pushes Recall of Dunecraft Expanding Ball Toys

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You may have seen the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall announcement, today, Dunecraft, Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio, and the CPSC and Health Canada, have announced a voluntary recall today of 94,700 children’s toys made in China and the U.S. The toys are: Water Balz, Growing Skulls, H2O Orbs "Despicable Me" and Fabulous Flowers toys. Sounds simple enough… but it’s not, these are really dangerous toys when ingested. Little children can ingest the toy "balls" and they absorb water and expand in their bodies!

Parents who are in the process of buying toys for children during the holidays should steer clear of these toys which have serious ingestion hazards. If you have already purchased these toys, remove them from your children’s access immediately and dispose of them safely! The company received a report of an 8-month old child who ingested a Walter Balz toy that caused an intestinal obstruction and had to be surgically removed in August 2011. (One wonders why we are hearing about this only now!)

According to the CPSC announcement, when the marble-sized toy is ingested by a child, it absorbs water and expands inside the body. The toys can expand up to 400 times their original size and can cause a blockage in the small intestine, resulting in severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration and could pose a life-threatening situation. Possibly the worst news noted on the CPSC website about this recall is, "Once ingested, the toys do not show up with X-ray technology and require surgery" to be removed from a child’s body.

These toys were sold as "Water Balz" (round shaped), "Growing Skulls" (skull-shaped), H2O Orbs "Despicable Me" (round shaped) and "Fabulous Flowers" (flower-shaped), in packages of six. The toys came in different colors, including green, yellow, red, blue and black colors. The company name, "Dunecraft," the name of the toy and the model number are printed on the toy’s packaging.

The Water Balz and Growing Skulls were sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Five Below, Hobby Lobby, Lakeshore Learning Materials, Microcenter, Urban Outfitters Direct, Wegman’s and other stores throughout the country. Online stores that sold these toys include: Amazon.com, incrediblescience.com, keyporthobbies.com, americantoystores.com and other websites from September 2010 through November 2012 for about $3 each. The H20 Orbs "Despicable Me" have been sold exclusively at Universal Studios stores during June 2012 for about $3 each, and Fabulous Flowers were sold exclusively at Milaeger’s in Racine, Wisconsin from June 2012 through November 2012 for about $3 each.

Once again, parents, these toys should be removed from children’s access and disposed of in a safe manner immediately. If parents desire a free replacement toy from Dunecraft, they can contact the company, at 1(800)306-4168 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, or visit the company’s website online, at www.dunecraft.com and click on the "recall" tab for more information about the recall. To view photos of these toys, please visit the CPSC website at: www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13071.html