NEW YORK (MainStreet) – In news that really shouldn’t be all that surprising, the government today warned that going inside a giant inflatable ball to walk on water isn’t safe.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a “consumer alert” this morning that warned of the dangers associated with “water walking balls.” Children inside the giant floating plastic balls can maneuver along the surface of a pool (or on the ground) like a hamster in a ball, but the agency warned that use of the products is associated with risk of injury or death when the child inside becomes distressed.
Of particular concern to the agency was that there is no “emergency exit” for the ball and that it can’t be opened from the inside, which is particularly problematic if the child inside the airtight ball runs out of air or if a leak causes it to take on water. According to the CPSC there have been at least two incidents – one involving a child found unresponsive inside the ball, and another involving a person who fell out of an above-ground pool while in the ball and fractured a bone. The balls are not padded, which heightens the risk of such impact injuries.
The CPSC says that several states have banned amusement park rides that use the balls in recognition of the numerous health risks associated with them. While no recall has been issued, the agency concludes with a chilling statement to anyone considering using one: “CPSC does not know of any safe way to use this product.”
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