CLAIM

"Hatchimal" bath bombs are giving children chemical burns.

UNPROVEN

RATING

UNPROVEN

ORIGIN

On 8 December 2017, a Facebook user posted a warning to her public timeline urging parents not to use the popular “Hatchimal” line of bath bomb with children, relaying an experience she had with her daughter, who allegedly suffered what she described as chemical burns after using the product:

PSA! Do NOT buy this for your children!

Followed directions on package and placed in her bathtub. Thought it would be fun for her because there was a toy inside. After being in the water 30-45 seconds she stated her skin was hurting, upon looking she has received a chemical burn from a KIDS BATH BOMB. (no she was not holding it and she has used multiple different kinds of bath bombs and never had this reaction) Just a warning people.

Hatchimal bath bombs are a re-invention of those popular soapy spheres that fizz while as they impart rich colors and pleasant aromas into a bath, reformulated for children. The only substantive difference with this product is that it reveals a “hatchimal” critter after it is fully dissolved. In a later update to the post — after numerous people allegedly sent messages saying they experienced a similar scenario — the Facebook user said she had contacted the manufacturer and the company was aware of the issue and was likely to issue a recall:

I called the company and the batch number being investigated and is likely going to be recalled as numerous reports have been made (not all the burning reaction she got). It is so easy for a person working in a factory to overdo the ingredients in a batch and just ignore it. Went to the doctor this morning and it was in fact a chemical burn not a reaction. I am posting this just in hopes people will monitor closely. Everyone loves bath bombs. Lesson learned. All natural ones from now on.

We reached out to the manufacturer of Hatchimal bath bombs, Spin Master, Ltd., who told us via email that they had been made aware of the post on Facebook but were unable to comment on it further until they had more information:

Spin Master was made aware of the situation via a Facebook post and we are in the process of looking into the matter with the licensee company to whom Spin Master licensed the Hatchimals brand. We are saddened to learn about a young girl’s injuries. That said, it would be premature to comment further on the situation until we learn more.  We are working closely with the product’s licensee manufacturer and distributor to determine whether there are any product issues.
 

From a medical standpoint, it is not uncommon for people with sensitive skin, especially children, to have reactions to cosmetic products like bath bombs, likely caused by dyes or fragrances contained within the product. Chemical burns, as alleged in the post, would be a bit more enigmatic and, broadly speaking, unlikely to occur from the reactive chemicals in this bath bomb — sodium bicarbonate and citric acid — which are commonly used in most bath bombs.

Without more information we are unable to verify the allegations in this Facebook post, and so we currently rank its claims as unproven.

Updated [11 December 2017]: Added a statement from Spin Masters, LLC.

Sources:

Admani, Shehla, and Jacob, Sharon E.   “Allergic Contact Dermatitis in Children: Review of the Past Decade.”
    Current Allergy and Asthma Reports.   7 February 2014.

Rosenstein, Jenna.   “Are Bath Bombs Actually Good for Your Skin?”
    Allure.   10 September 2017.

Hammond, Paula.   “Making Bath Bombs.”
    5 to 7 Educator.   27 September 2013.

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