CNN.COM has a story on a new CPSC recall. Aquadots, a popular children’s toy made by Spin Master Toys, was recalled today because the coating on the dots turns into a dangerous date rape drug, gamma hydroxy butyrate, when ingested. The toy is a craft kit which allows children to make multidimensional art by piecing the beads together. Five children, including 2 in the US and three in Australia, have been hospitalized so far.

The US victims slipped into a comatose state and were hospitalized. One of the children has recovered completely, the other child has been released from the hospital and is recovering. 

When ingested by children the beads can cause death, coma, drowsiness, respiratory depression, seizures and unconsciousness.  According to Naren Gunja from Australia’s Poisons Information Center, the drug’s effect on children is “quite serious . . . and potentially life-threatening.”  Because of the potential danger the CPSC has requested that parents take this toy away from children immediately.

CNN also has a story with tips for parents on buying presents for your children this Christmas season.  Some of the tips include doing your own toy research (including checking the CPSC website regularly), take into account your child’s vulnerabilities and tendencies, and get basic with entertainment (buy your child books and music rather than toys).  Good tips in scary times.