Government Provides New Warnings Against "Water Walking Balls"

Posted on Apr 05, 2011
The recreational activity known as "Water Walking Balls" are supposed to be a fun way to experience what it would be like to walk on water. However, there are new warnings out now about the possible deadly threat this fun activity may have.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a new consumer alert warning about the potential risks of suffocation and drowning. In the Grand Strand, many have enjoyed these at Broadway at the Beach and Coastal Grande Mall. The large clear plastic balls allow a person to climb inside and then walk across water, ice, or grass. However, there is no emergency exit and can only be opened from the outside. This is what has led the CPSC to warn against them, saying that the fact that they can only be opened from the outside heightens the risk of injury or death when the person inside becomes distressed. They also state that because the ball is airtight, oxygen can deplete quickly inside and carbon dioxide can accumulate. The CPSC says it knows of 2 children who have been hurt while using the balls, however neither case is from the Grand Strand.

Several states have banned or refused to provide permits for the rides, and the agency is urging state amusement ride officials not to grant permits for the water balls in other states. The 2 companies that offer this activity in the Grand Strand are taking the new alert seriously. The company that provides the activity at Broadway at the Beach says it has closed due to the "new U.S. safety standards regarding the use of Water Walking Balls." However, the company that provides the attraction at the Coastal Grande Mall says that they are going to continue operating. Owner, Mike Green stated that his employees are extremely responsible about the operation and have not had any problems. He says that as long as they keep it in a controlled environment, it is very safe. His employees do not allow anyone to stay inside the ball for more than a few minutes.

While the water walking balls are fun, it is important to weigh the risk factors. It is a matter of safe usage, common sense, and a controlled environment that can keep this from being a safety hazard. 


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