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Target Recalls Water-Absorbing Easter Toys Over Serious Ingestion Hazard

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Target has issued a recall of more than half a million water-absorbing egg toys ahead of Easter Sunday. The recall was prompted by concerns that the toys could block a child's stomach when ingested and could only be removed via surgery.

Small Toys Can Expand Inside Children's Body

If ingested, the small toys can expand inside a child's body and cause intestinal obstruction. Such incident can cause severe discomfort, dehydration, and vomiting and could even be life threatening.

In 2012, an 8-month old baby swallowed an expandable gel ball, known as Water Balz. The water-absorbing toy, which can grow up to 400 times it original size, was about the size of a marble when the child put it in her mouth but later expanded in her digestive system.

The child was brought to the hospital for stomach problems, but X-rays could not even detect the toy about 15 hours after the baby swallowed the ball. When surgeons performed an operation, they found a 3.5-centimeter ball that was surprisingly intact, blocking part of the child's intestines.

"In young children, especially in those less than 1 year of age, who tend to put objects in their mouth, this product could pose a serious problem if swallowed," said Robert Glatter, from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

The child was lucky the toy was removed early. If the treatment was delayed, surgeons said there could have been potentially fatal consequences.

"We were fortunate enough that we did [surgery] early enough. If the treatment is delayed, there could be perforation with peritonitis," said Oluyinka Olutoye, from Texas Children's Hospital.

Fast Track Recall

No injury has yet been reported involving the toys recalled by Target, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which issued a Fast Track Recall on Wednesday for the 560,000 small toys, warned parents and medical professionals of the dangers posed by the toys to small children, citing the possibility these may now show up on X-ray.

Products Affected By Target Recall

Affected products include those sold under product names Hatch & Grow Easter Eggs, Easter Grow Toys, and Hatch Your Own Dino. The toys, which come in various colors and combinations, were sold at Target stores between February 2017 and March 2017 for around a dollar each.

Parents who purchased the toys were advised to take them away from their children and take these back to a Target location to get a full refund.

The Hatch & Grow Easter Eggs and Easter Grow Toys have model number 234-25-1200, which can be seen on the back of the packaging. Hatch Your Own Dino Egg has model number 234-09-0016, which can be seen on the label inserted in the packaging.

The Hatch & Grow Easter Eggs come in colors pink, blue, and purple and include a butterfly, brown bunny, or white bunny. The Easter Grow Toys include a white bunny, brown bunny, or yellow chick, while the Hatch Your Own Dino Eggs come in purple or yellow/green and has a dinosaur.

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