Deadly ‘baby crystal’ beads still banned, watchdog warns

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Deadly ‘baby crystal’ beads still banned, watchdog warns

Deadly ‘baby crystal’ beads still banned, watchdog warns


Following an incident in which a toddler nearly died after swallowing a water-absorbing “baby crystal” bead, the Consumer Protection Board on Wednesday warned all retailers that they risk up to three years in prison for selling the banned products.

The beads, which expand in size in water, have been banned since 1984 because they are dangerous, the watchdog announced on its Facebook page.

It said this after Facebook user “Kat Kattaleeya” wrote on the platform that her toddler almost died after swallowing a single bead.

Kat said she took her toddler to a hospital after he could not stop vomiting.

A CT scan found that a bead was lodged in his intestine, and that it had swelled in size.

Emergency surgery was performed to remove the bead and save the boy’s life, the mother wrote while her son remained in intensive care.

She said she bought the beads for her six-year-old daughter to use to decorate trees. One of the beads may have fallen to the floor where her toddler found it and swallowed it, she said. Once inside his intestine, it absorbed water and swelled in size to more than 3 centimetres in width.

If she had waited a few more hours before taking her son to the hospital, he would likely have died, she said.

The colourful beads are made of polyacrylamide and vinyl acetate ethylene co-polymer.

Any vendor who sells them in Thailand faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 600,000 baht, the Consumer Protection Board reiterated.

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