According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission alert issued last week, water walking balls may be dangerous products. Water walking balls are large and transparent plastic balls that are big enough to allow a person to be inside of them. The balls are filled with air by a blower through a zipper opening. When the zipper opening is closed, the balls become airtight, and this allows a person inside the ball to walk across water while remaining afloat.
As fun as the idea of walking on water may seem, the CPSC warns that these products lack important safety features and this could lead to serious personal injuries. Most water walking balls can only be opened from the outside and do not have an emergency exit. According to the CPSC alert, the lack of an exit increases the risk of injury, suffocation and death when the person inside experiences a problem.
Because the balls are sealed, there is only a certain amount of breathable oxygen available for a person inside of the ball. According to some water walking ball operators, a ball has enough air for a person to breath for five minutes on a hot day. However, the CPSC has received one report of a child who was found unresponsive inside of a water walking ball after being inside for only a short time. The CPSC has also received a report of a person falling from an aboveground pool while inside of a ball and suffering a broken bone.
Some states have already banned water walking balls, and others have refused to issue permits that would allow water walking balls to be used at amusement parks and other public events.
Unfortunately, experience has taught us that many products that are sold and marketed as fun amusements can be improperly designed and they can be outright dangerous products. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous product, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for your injuries.
Source: Reuters, "Warning to consumers: walking on water is dangerous," Wendell Marsh, 3/31/2011