The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a consumer alert today on water walking balls. Water walking balls are part of a new type of water recreation and poses serious risks of suffocation and drowning, according to the alert.
The water walking ball is the newest phase in water rides at many amusement parks and carnivals. It is commonly found in places of high traffic and is also sold for personal use. The ride may be called by various names, but the product used is still the same. The clear plastic ball allows users to walk on water and other surfaces while being sealed inside the ball for a period of time. The CPSC has issued a notice to all states not to give permits for the ride.
The ball has no emergency exit and can only be opened by someone from outside the ball. Any puncture or leakage of water in the ball can pose a drowning threat with no way for the person inside to escape. A depletion adequate air supply can occur in a matter of a few minutes, leading to unconsciousness and potentially death. Additionally, if the ball has an impact with a solid surface, injuries such as broken bones can occur due to lack of padding in the ball.
The CPSC has received 2 reports of incidents involving the water ball. A child became unconscious in one incident after having been in the ball only a few minutes and medical treatment was required. In another, the ball fell out of a shallow above-ground pool onto a hard surface, and the user suffered a broken bone.