As sustainability and environmental protection become more and more relevant to our daily lives, lots of people are turning to products like reusable water balloons to continue to have their summertime fun without creating as much trash and environmental hazard as one would with normal water balloons.
Traditional single-use water balloons, especially because we tend to use so many of them at once, are a great waste of latex or other plastics, and their remains can pollute water ways, clutter up public places with litter, and be a danger to animals. Because the balloons often break into several pieces when they’re thrown, it can be very difficult to be a responsible user of them and actually find and discard all of the pieces.
So reusable water balloons are the natural alternative, right? Of course, and there are many such options on the market today that are more cost-effective and a great deal better for the environment. Cloth or sponge water balloons, for example, are basically just squishy balls that you dunk in water and throw at your friends as many times as you’d like. Biodegradable single-use balloons are also an option. And, of course, there’s always the option of skipping the balloons altogether and opting for super soaker guns and other water toys.
But there’s one type of reusable water balloon on the market that we’d like to warn you against purchasing: magnetic reusable water balloons.
Not only do magnetic water balloons appear to not hold water all that well, they have tiny magnets that aren’t embedded very deeply into their silicone bodies and can come out easily, especially the more you use the product. These magnets can then be swallowed by people, pets, and other animals and can cause untold damage.
There’s even a story circulating about a young child who accidentally got these magnet pieces lodged up her nose, where they damaged her septum. She had to be taken to the emergency room to have them removed and the damage repaired.
Check out the video below to learn more about the dangers of magnetic water balloons, or you can read the original post from the child’s parent here.
Of course, the post and video above are concerned with children, as that’s who is most likely to use this product. However, we’d like to point out that this product is a danger to pets and wild animals too. Any animal that has access to the space your kids were using water balloons in after the game is over has the potential to ingest or inhale some of these tiny magnets. They’re far too small to make sure you have them all picked up, making it impossible to prevent future mishaps involving your pets when they venture outdoors.
We want everyone to be able to have safe summertime fun, so it’s important to do your research and use common sense when choosing the toys you’ll buy for your family. If you own any of these magnetic water balloons, please return them or throw them away. It’s just not worth the possible pain and heartbreak of a trip to the emergency room with your child or pet.