Parents Accidentally Feed Toddler 200 Plastic Balls Instead of Candy

The parents thought the tiny balls were colorful candies

Two parents accidentally mistook a package of water gel beads for candy and fed 280 of them to their toddler. 

Parents often worry about their children mistaking inedible objects for candy and eating them, but recently two parents accidentally fed their daughter more than 200 tiny water-absorbing plastic balls, because they thought they were candy.

According to Shanghaiist, the balls are called “Water Babies,” and it’s easy to see how that particular mistake could happen. “Water Babies” is not a very descriptive name, and the cannister held brightly colored beads about the size of peppercorns, and they looked just like candy. In fact, it bears such a resemblance to candy that the mother of a 3-year-old girl in Jiansu, China, thought they were a specific type of colorful candy ball that her daughter liked, so when she saw them at the store, she bought them for a treat.

The little girl’s father gave her the tiny candies one at a time, and she had eaten about 280 of them before the mother decided to eat one, too. As soon as it was in her mouth, she realized it was definitely not food. In fact, it was a tiny water gel bead, which are little beads that soak up water and expand to about the size of marbles. They’re usually used for growing plants.


Once the parents realized what had happened, they panicked and took the little girl to the hospital. X-rays showed that she did have about 280 tiny beads in her stomach, but they had so far stayed peppercorn-sized. The doctors reportedly gave the little girl a laxative so she’d pass them before she had 300 marbles in her stomach, and no permanent damage was done.