My daughter is turning four in a couple weeks and the forecast for her birthday party is calling for intense summer heat. To help her young party goers cool off, I ordered some reusable water balloons. I had heard great things about them (environmentally friendly, mess-proof, easy for kids to refill), but now, I’m second guessing that decision after one mom’s horrifying testimony wound up shared in my local mom Facebook group.
Ohio mom Kelley Whitty is going viral on social media for her brave and honest warning to parents everywhere about the dangers of reusable water balloons after an accident led her daughter ending up in the emergency room.
Whitty began, “PSA: BEWARE OF THE DANGER REUSABLE WATER BALLOONS CAN HAVE.”
Whitty had gotten a call that while at the pool something had gotten stuck up her 8-year-old daughter’s nose and would not come out. Through the phone, Whitty could hear her daughter, Leah, “crying and freaking out that it burned and stung.”
After also hearing the concern in Leah’s caretaker’s voice, they all met at the ER for Leah to get checked out. After being triaged and more or less being seen by “every nurse and PCA” in the place, no one could figure out what was up her nose. Meanwhile, Leah was in so much pain she needed to be sedated.
That was when they discovered what was actually up Leah’s nose — tiny magnets from the reusable water balloons.
While there are several different types of reusable water balloons selling on Amazon and other online stores, Whitty was using the Ontwno brand of reusable water balloons.
There is currently no toy recall or warning posted by any organization in regards to this toy, but strong magnets and small magnet toys are a known hazard for kids.
“Once sedated they removed not 1, not 2 but 6 MAGNETS that had bonded to her septum. The force of these tiny magnets was so strong it perforated her septum just in the time it happened to the time they were successfully removed,” she wrote.
“These magnets fell out of a reusable water ballon and must have been on the towel, unbeknownst to her, when she wiped her face and immediately went into her nose. We are super thankful this wasn’t worse than it could’ve been but these are marketed to young kids, with no warning at all and clearly could result in severe injury especially if ingested.”
Whitty shared that Leah is home now and doing great though they’re all still “trying to wrap our head around” what happened.
“We’re home now and she’s feeling good,” she wrote. “If you have these in your house, THROW THEM AWAY”
Reusable water balloons are typically made from silicon-like material, featuring a magnetic suction closure, so kids can fill them with water and let the balloons seal themselves. The idea is that kids can refill them over and over, removing the mess of broken balloons all over your backyard and your kid constantly asking you to make more water balloons for them.
Amazon sells several different kinds of these reusable water balloons, with many of the products noting that there is a protective silicone rubber ring which covers the magnets so that they cannot pop out like the instance that happened to Leah.
Whether a freak accident or a toy malfunction, Whitty’s testimony will hopefully shed light on a risk that many parents may not have thought about concerning such a popular and hot toy right now.