State Official Warns Against ‘Water Ball’ Mall Rides

Tom Gatzunis, the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety in Massachusetts wants to ban water ball amusement rides. While a water ball ban would be outside this reach of his authority, he is asking the state Legislature and Governor Patrick to extend the scope of his power. Gatzunis issued a “stern warning” against the rides Tuesday, stating that they are inherently unsafe, especially for children.

Since they were introduced in the United States last summer, water balls have become popular in malls and at carnivals. Children climb inside of the inflatable, sealed balls, allowing them to walk, jump, roll or crawl on top of water. Gatzuni warned that there is no way to monitor the amount of oxygen inside. Certain producers of the toys say that there is enough oxygen for an average person to remain inside for 20-30 minutes.

The water balls came under scrutiny when a 5-year-old girl almost died in one at the Independence Mall in Kingston last month. The girl had stopped breathing and was taken by ambulance to Plymouth’s Jordan Hospital. According to one witness, no one knew that the girl wasn’t breathing because the flow of the water made it look like she was moving.

World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH), a Boston-based national child safety group, warned against a comparable toy, called the Giga Ball, last year.

Thousands of children are killed every year because of dangerous and defective toys. Water ball manufacturers, mall owners, or others might be responsible for injuries or deaths caused by the toys. If your young loved one has been hurt, call our personal injury attorneys today.

Sources:, Kingston mall ‘water ball’ incident sends girl to hospital

CBS Boston, State Issues ‘Stern Warning’ Against Water Balls

The Boston Globe, State official criticizes water ball attraction

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