Can Orbeez Kill You? Exploring Their Toxicity And Safety

By Tavish Archer
Edited On

As an Orbeez expert, I’ve always been captivated by the magic of these water-filled gel balls. However, amidst the widespread love for them, a question often arises: Can Orbeez actually pose a lethal threat?

This very concern was brought to my attention when one of my followers asked me about the toxicity and safety of Orbeez beads. Worried about the possibility of her child swallowing these soft gel balls and facing dire consequences, she sought my expert advice.

Today, I invite you to join me on a journey to uncover the truth about Orbeez balls and if they can really kill a person. Together, we’ll explore whether these captivating water beads have the capacity to cause harm, or if they are entirely non-toxic. Get ready to discover the fascinating world of Orbeez and find out if there’s any truth to the claim that they can be deadly.

Can Orbeez Kill You

Are Orbeez Toxic? Here Is The Truth

Orbeez beads consist of a superabsorbent polymer material (SAP) capable of absorbing water hundreds of times its own weight. While the superabsorbent polymer in your gel balls is a synthetic material, don’t let that scare you. Orbeez aren’t toxic at all, as they don’t release any chemicals in sufficient quantities to kill cells either directly or indirectly.

I remember my neighbor’s kid Jim once accidentally swallowed a couple of Orbee balls. Though his parents panicked and rushed him to the doctor, he turned out to be fine. But it does not mean these gel balls are safe to consume or everyone is as lucky as Jim.

While they are completely non-toxic and biodegradable in nature, these jelly balls can still cause an array of issues, which I’ll be discussing soon. Remember, they are meant for recreational activities only. Anything that isn’t meant to be ingested shouldn’t be ingested, and the same applies to Orbeez.

Recreational activity with Orbeez balls

Risks Of Orbeez: Can They Kill You?

Now that you know that Orbeez balls aren’t toxic, you might feel assured there’s no risk of losing your life by consuming these water beads. Let me be honest with you – the risk is low, but ingesting them can be dangerous, especially for kids. Consuming of those gel balls can be life-threatening and you may have to undergo surgeries in critical conditions.

Here is a tweet by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding the risks of water beads.

I have explored further and found these potential issues to consider when contemplating if playing with Orbeez is safe for kids.

Choking Hazard

Swallowing Orbeez, particularly for children, is undeniably the most significant risk to consider. It’s natural for young kids to mistake these vibrant gel beads for edible candies, which can lead to accidental ingestion. Similar to swallowing any non-food item, there is a real danger of choking, and tragically, this can even result in fatality.

Children who experience dysphagia, a condition that affects swallowing ability, are especially vulnerable to choking hazards. Additionally, the Orbeez balls themselves can become lodged in the airway, blocking the passage of air and causing suffocation or breathing difficulties. It is essential to be aware of these potential risks and take appropriate precautions, especially when children are involved.

Intestinal Blockage

It’s crucial to understand that consuming Orbeez in any manner can lead to significant risks, particularly concerning intestinal blockage. These gel balls possess a high absorbency property, causing them to expand when they come into contact with moisture, stomach acids, and other fluids present in our digestive system.

While the ingestion of a single Orbeez or even a couple is unlikely to cause severe problems, swallowing a substantial quantity of these water beads can be hazardous. When several gel balls gather in the stomach and intestines, they collectively absorb fluids and expand to a significant volume, potentially resulting in severe medical complications. Warning signs to watch out for include feelings of nausea, abdominal pain, and episodes of vomiting.

Bowel Obstruction

In addition to the risk of intestinal blockage, it’s important to be aware that swallowed Orbeez can potentially lead to constipation by obstructing the normal movement of the bowels.

According to the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (JPGN) and, there are several reports of bowel obstruction caused by Orbeez, that required diagnostic and exploratory laparoscopy. This serves as a stark reminder of the seriousness of the matter.

If your child complains of constipation shortly after consuming Orbeez, it is imperative to take immediate action and seek medical attention. Delaying medical intervention in such cases can exacerbate the situation and lead to further complications. Promptly consulting a healthcare professional is crucial to ensure appropriate evaluation and treatment.


When it comes to triggering allergic reactions, the chances of Orbeez causing such responses are highly unlikely. Nevertheless, it’s essential to acknowledge that there is a slim possibility that individuals may have an allergy to the materials used in those gel blaster balls. In the event of an allergic reaction, several symptoms may manifest:

  • Rashes on the skin
  • Skin irritation
  • Redness and itchiness around the throat, eyes, or mouth
  • In extreme cases, swelling of the lips and face

It is crucial to treat an Orbeez-related allergic reaction with the same level of seriousness as any other type of allergy. Ignoring the symptoms can potentially exacerbate the situation. Therefore, if you suspect that Orbeez has triggered an allergic response in yourself or someone else, it is imperative to seek immediate medical assistance.

Dehydration And Loss Of Appetite

It’s crucial to be aware of the absorbent nature of Orbeez, as they can significantly impact your body’s hydration levels. When consumed, they have the ability to absorb a substantial amount of the water you drink, depriving your body of the necessary moisture it requires. It can lead to dehydration and leave you feeling constantly thirsty. This is because the water beads essentially soak up the fluids that should be hydrating your system.

Furthermore, as the Orbeez expand within your stomach, they occupy the space that would normally be reserved for digesting food. This can result in a loss of appetite, as your stomach has limited room to accommodate the usual amount of food.

To simplify, it’s essential to note that while Orbeez can pose a potential threat, instances where they prove fatal are incredibly rare. By refraining from swallowing these gel beads and using them solely as intended, there is no cause for concern.

However, it’s important to mention that gel balls may not be easily detected in X-ray reports due to their transparency. Once ingested, locating them within the body can be challenging.

I have summarized the hazards of Orbeez in the following infographic to help you understand it better.

Hazards of Orbeez

Can Swallowing Orbeez Be Fatal For Toddlers?

Regrettably, the answer is yes. Swallowing Orbeez can indeed be potentially dangerous for toddlers. When it comes to little ones, the risk of choking is always present, particularly when they ingest small objects like gel blaster balls, that are not intended for consumption. This is precisely why toys with small parts often come with a minimum age requirement.

So, it is crucial to emphasize that I would never recommend giving gel balls to children who are too young to differentiate between edible items and non-food objects. Toddlers, due to their age and cognitive development, generally lack the necessary understanding to make this distinction reliably.

Here is an experience by the mother of a 2-year-old girl who swallowed Orbeez:

How To Stay Safe When Using Orbeez?

So, now that we know of the several potential hazards Orbeez might pose, you might be wondering if it’s possible to use these tiny balls safely at all. Rest assured that it won’t be too hard if you follow a few basic guidelines.

  • Don’t leave Orbeez around toddlers: Glass bottles and bowls filled with colorful Orbeez balls look great. But make sure to keep them out of the reach of young children, especially toddlers. It’s not possible to keep an eye on your child 24/7, and it only takes one splatter ball to cause problems.
  • Dispose of used Orbeez properly: Once you’re done with the Orbeez or have replaced them with fresh beads, dispose of them properly. Don’t leave your used gellets lying around. Besides the potential risk they pose to toddlers, these water beads also promote mold growth.
  • Keep out of reach of pets: My friend Kevin has a dog that would eat just about anything and, in one case, gobbled down some Orbeez balls. The vet was able to get them out, but he warned Erik that ingesting those tiny beads could put pets in serious danger.
  • Wear safety goggles when playing with toy guns: Blasting your friends with gel balls using an Orbeez gun is pretty fun, but make sure to wear protective glasses. Even a single stray bead can cause severe eye damage.
  • Don’t leave Orbeez on the floor: Hydrated gel balls have a gel-like texture that makes them extremely slippery when stepped on. Be careful not to leave any beads on a hard floor.
  • Seek timely help: In case your kid or child does eat some splat balls, do not wait for symptoms to appear. It would be best to consult a doctor or vet immediately, just to be safe.

You May Also Like: Can Orbeez Guns Damage Cars?

Final Thoughts: Insights and Recommendations

As you are old enough to understand that Orbeez beads are not meant to be consumed, they are perfectly safe and non-toxic to enjoy. The likelihood of them causing death is extremely rare, and such incidents can be avoided by ensuring that you and others do not swallow them. By prioritizing safety during playtime and taking precautions to prevent accidental ingestion, you can confidently indulge in the fun of Orbeez.

However, it is essential to adhere to the intended uses of Orbeez and avoid employing them in any way that deviates from their purpose of recreational activities. Remember, the key is to embrace the playful potential of gel beads while being mindful of responsible usage. So go ahead, have fun, and explore the wonders of those squishy gel balls within the confines of their intended applications.

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer is a Recreational Gamer, Author, and Co-Founder of ThrilloGaming. He holds a degree in Sports Management from Mississippi College (MC), United States. His experience and proficiency in the field allow him to provide winning strategies, creative ideas, and expert advice.

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