Pediatric Orbeez Ingestions Reported to Texas Poison Centers

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There is concern that ingestion of superabsorbent polymer toys, which can absorb large amounts of fluid and increase greatly in volume, may pose a risk if swallowed by children.


The intent of this study was to characterize pediatric Orbeez ingestions reported to a statewide poison center system.


Cases were Orbeez ingestions among patients 19 years or younger reported to Texas poison centers during January 2011 to June 2016. The distribution by various demographic and clinical factors was determined.


Of 110 total cases, 56% were female and 55% were 5 years or younger. Eighty-six percent of the ingestions were unintentional. Sixty-nine percent occurred at the patient's home and 28% at school. Seventy-eight percent of the patients were managed on site. The reported adverse effects were vomiting (4%), abdominal pain (3%), constipation (1%), diarrhea (1%), and fever (1%). The reported treatments were dilution (42%), food or snack (16%), other emetics (1%), whole bowel irrigation (1%), antihistamines (1%), and intravenous fluids (1%).


Pediatric Orbeez ingestions tended to involve younger children, were unintentional, and occurred at the child's home or school. Most ingestions were managed outside of a healthcare facility. This study provides further evidence that ingestion of Orbeez by children is not likely to result in serious problems, such as intestinal obstruction. The information in this investigation may assist in prevention and education activities.

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