Friday, January 21

Health. Parties: beware of small beads and pearls easily ingested by children

During this holiday season, the authorities are calling for caution with regard to certain products which, if ingested by children, “can cause very serious complications, sometimes fatal”.

The National Health Security Agency and the General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) cite several examples of objects often involved in these accidents.

Among them, button batteries, small round batteries, present in some toys or in remote controls, which can “cause lesions in a few hours due to the release of toxic substances in the esophagus”.

But also water pearls, used in decoration or in plants as well as in toys, can swell in the digestive tract when swallowed “and cause intestinal obstruction, sometimes fatal”.

Check the “CE” marking

ANSES and the DGCCRF also point out the risks associated with magnetic balls that can be found in building blocks, games dedicated to adults or “anti-stress” objects. They “can cause intestinal perforations,” they say.

“We are also alerting consumers and professionals to products likely to be mistaken for food,” underlines an inspector of the Repression of fraud in the Paris region. They can be effervescent salts in the form of cupcakes or even candles in the form of pastries. At the end of 2020, the DGCCRF had carried out a survey on these products among some 300 establishments and had emerged 24 “non-compliant and dangerous elements” for children.

ANSES and the DGCCRF also recommend paying attention to the toys purchased, checking that they bear a CE mark and reading the warnings on the packaging. If the product does not appear to comply with the regulations, it is possible to report it on the SignalConso site of the DGCCRF.

In the event of ingestion, even suspected, a poison control center should be called immediately, which will give medical advice and the action to be taken. In the event of a vital emergency, call 15 or 112.

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