Water Walking Balls Can Pose Deadly Danger
Las Vegas, NV USA
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
is urging consumers to stop participating in a new type of
water-related recreational activity, due to the potential risks of
suffocation and drowning. The activity is called water walking and
the water walking ball has numerous brand or ride names.
The fact that the product has no emergency exit
and can be opened only by a person outside of the ball significantly
heightens the risk of injury or death when a person inside the ball
experiences distress. Pre-existing medical conditions, such as
heart, lung or breathing issues, can be made worse by use of the
product, according to the CPSC.
Here's how the balls work: A person climbs into
the large, see-through plastic ball; it is inflated with a blower
through the zipper opening; and the zipper is closed, making the
ball air-tight. The ball, with the person locked inside, then rolls
around on a number of surfaces, including water. The product is most
commonly used by children, mainly as a ride in amusement parks,
carnivals, malls, sporting events and other high-traffic areas. The
product is also sold directly to the public for personal use.
Several states have banned or refused to provide
permits for rides that use this product. CPSC is aware of two
incidents involving this product. In one incident, a child was found
unresponsive after being inside the ball for a very brief period of
time, and emergency medical treatment was sought. In the second
incident, a person inside of a ball suffered a fracture when the
ball fell out of the shallow, aboveground pool onto the hard ground.
CPSC is warning consumers that there is a
combination of risks associated with this product, including the
potential for suffocation, as well as the potential for drowning and
impact injuries. Because the ball is airtight, an inadequate air
supply can result when oxygen is depleted and carbon dioxide
accumulates inside the ball. Such a dangerous scenario can occur in
as little as a few minutes. Because the water walking balls have no
padding, impact injuries can occur if the balls collide with each
other, or fall out of the pool onto concrete or other hard surfaces,
such as ice or tile. Additionally, the balls present a high risk of
drowning if there is a leak or a puncture.
Go Back To The
Online Newsletter Page