“I wish I could eat these colorful candies now!” Kieran was scrolling a TikTok video about the ‘Orbeez challenge’!
I smirked, “Yeah, it helps sleepy Joe to curb inflation — go and perish!”
He hit back, “Champ! It’s not fatal!”
Social media is getting reckless levels to achieve views with such bizarre challenges. Obsessed people make reels or videos about how to mug up inflated water beads, or even they eat freezing beads.
These tiny water-absorbing Orbeez beads have become a popular sensory toy for kids and gel blaster bullets for adults alike, but their edibility remains a question for many.
Let’s make a clear concept out of this grey zone.
Are Orbeez Edible?
NO, ORBEEZ ARE NOT EDIBLE AT ALL!
Even though Orbeez do not leach harmful chemicals, they are not intended to replace your daily diet! These tiny gel balls are not meant to boost energy, provide carbohydrates, fats, or antioxidants.
But why are Orbeez not edible, even though they are not toxic?
Because they can pose a choking hazard if swallowed. If you ingest a dry Orbeez, it has the potential to expand in your stomach and cause significant digestive problems. There have been news reports of individuals experiencing intestinal blockages as a result of consuming them.
To conduct a more in-depth analysis, let’s examine their origin. Orbeez balls are made from super absorbent polymer or SAP materials. They consist of micromolecules and color pigments and can expand 10-150 times their size after soaking in water for 4-6 hours.
If polymer-based gel balls are ingested, they can obstruct the respiratory system, particularly in children. These small, brightly colored balls can be mistaken for candy or bubble tea by children and have the ability to expand in the stomach.
Children who accidentally ingest them may experience gastrointestinal pain, vomiting, and discomfort. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove blockages.
This does not make water-absorbed gel balls suitable for consumption; they are not gumballs or bubble-tea pearls. Eating these products clearly poses a danger. Doctors expect children to be curious, but unfortunately, they are seeing cases involving irresponsible adults as well.
Some youngsters even involve their pets in Orbeez challenges, which is equally harmful and should never be done!
Related: Are Orbeez Toxic To Dogs?
What Are Some Other Problems That Orbeez Can Cause If Eaten?
Orbeez beads are bland, with an elastic texture and a flat flavor. They are made of water-absorbent polymer materials. Those who have tried them say that they are tasteless, rubbery, and unappealing. Your body cannot digest them. I have no desire to taste them!
Did You Know?
It is made from SAP (Super Absorbent Polymer) or a by-product of polyethylene, a type of plastic. This chemical can lead to stomach upset, congestion, and vomiting if ingested. These jelly balls have also been treated with chemicals, pigments, dyes, and perfumes. If ingested, they can potentially lead to hospitalization. Some news portals have already reported on this issue.
Orbeez contain chemicals similar to sodium polyacrylate, which are known to cause skin irritation and eye irritation. This chemical can result in redness and swelling if it comes into contact with mucous membranes and may lead to respiratory difficulties in certain situations. Some cases even require surgical intervention for recovery.
Also Read: Can Orbeez Kill You?
What To Do In Case You Have Accidentally Swallowed Some Orbeez Balls?
In most cases, if an adult consumes one or two gel balls, they can expect to pass them in their stool by the following morning. Some surgeons report seeing children and teenagers in the emergency department who have ingested water beads, leading to intestinal obstructions that can be fatal.
I am not a health expert, and therefore, I cannot provide medical advice. If you or your children have accidentally swallowed Orbeez and are feeling unwell, it is crucial to call emergency services and seek advice from a doctor. In the meantime, be sure to inform and explain the situation to the healthcare provider, including how many beads were ingested and when they were consumed.
Follow any directions provided by the healthcare expert, which may include inducing vomiting, using laxatives, or undergoing surgery. Fortunately, such cases are rare. If instructed, try to help the victim induce vomiting, as it can function as a stomach wash.
If the gel balls get stuck in the throat, causing suffocation, apply the abdominal thrust procedure immediately; you can learn it from the internet now. If your pet experiences the same issue, closely monitor its behavior. Contact a veterinarian or arrange for an immediate video consultation if it is not improving.
A Myth Busted: Eating Orbeez Makes You Lose Weight
In a sense, there is usually no problem if you accidentally ingest Orbeez since they are non-toxic and typically do not cause any issues upon consumption. However, this does not mean that you should intentionally eat these beads. They have zero nutritional value, and their taste is quite bland and soapy.
However, what I mentioned earlier about Orbeez being safe to consume only applies to accidental ingestion in small quantities, not deliberately eating a handful of them. Consuming too many gel balls may lead to vomiting a few hours later. They can also pose choking hazards, cause intestinal blockages, and result in other problems, which can be treated but will subject you to unwanted troubles.
Never attempt to consume water bead balls in their dry state, as they expand by absorbing water. They are tiny and lightweight, making it easy to accidentally inhale them. There is a common myth about Orbeez consumption aiding in weight loss. While it might have some truth to it, here is what actually happens:
- The Orbeez beads grow in your stomach as they soak.
- Eventually, they take up a lot of space (assuming you consume many of them).
- It doesn’t leave enough space for actual food.
- You eat less than usual and hence lose weight.
As we can see, consuming Orbeez balls leads to weight loss primarily because they fill you up, reducing your appetite for regular food. However, this also means your body is deprived of essential nutrition since they provide none. Wouldn’t it be much better to follow a healthy dieting plan instead?
Orbeez cannot be broken down in the stomach and may present a choking hazard. Inflated balls can exert pressure on your stomach or intestines, so it’s essential to avoid engaging in such unusual social media challenges and to keep them out of reach of pets, crawling infants, or toddlers.
While I frequently play with gel blasters with my friends and handle Orbeez beads regularly, I never have any desire to consume them. I use and store them responsibly, ensuring they are kept away from toddlers and pets in my home. I also strongly discourage participating in absurd social media challenges that can be harmful.
Accidental or intentional ingestion can lead to emergency medical care. Play sensibly and focus on competing with your adversaries.
If you are curious or tempted to eat Orbeez, remember, ‘Adam, it’s not your apple!’