Toy Industry Association (TIA) Statement on Expandable Gel Balls

Expandable gel balls are items intended for children over three years of age. Because they are designed to increase in size when exposed to water or other liquids, expandable gel balls could potentially create an internal obstruction if swallowed. Such expanding materials used in toys are subject to restrictions ensuring that they cannot create such an obstruction, but many non-toy items (such as florist supplies intended to keep plants hydrated) are not regulated in this manner. 

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) reminds parents and other caregivers that younger kids play differently than older children and are much more likely to put non-food objects in their mouths. Families are encouraged to take appropriate precautions to make sure that all small objects in the home, especially those that a child might confuse for candy or food, are kept away from children under three and older kids who continue to mouth objects.

The number one priority of TIA and its members is ensuring safe play for children of all ages. 

This statement was reaffirmed by the Toy Industry Association in October 2016.