We have been warning parents about high-powered magnets since 2007!
That’s when the first complaints started coming into the Consumer Product Safety Commission about kids swallowing small magnets that were falling out of toys or that were actually sold as toys to create patterns and build shapes.
Remember Buckyballs and Buckycubes?
They issued another magnet safety alert in 2011, when they found that incidents of children ingesting these high-powered magnets were increasing each year, with reports of 22 incidents between 2007 and 2009, including 11 of which required surgical removal of the magnets.
Next, in 2012, we heard about a 3-year-old who required emergency surgery after swallowing 37 magnets!
High-Powered Magnet Dangers
Unfortunately, when kids swallow more than one of the small, 5mm magnets, they can attract each other through the walls of the child’s intestine. And this is what happened to the little girl who swallowed 37 Buckyballs. She required emergency surgery to repair perforations in her stomach and intestines.
This led to a recall of Buckyballs, but surprisingly, their importer, Maxfield & Oberton LLC, refused to participate in the recall, even though the CPSC “has received 54 reports of children and teens ingesting this product, with 53 of these requiring medical interventions.”
Another death, a 19-month-old girl and an estimated 2,900 emergency room-treated injuries between 2009 and 2013 led the CPSC to create a new safety rule for high-powered magnet sets.
Unfortunately, a Federal Court put aside that safety rule, so that you can still buy these dangerous high-powdered magnets.
And many of you likely did, as Christmas gifts.
And some of you have likely already been to the ER after a child in your home swallowed those high-powered magnets.
Be warned. If you have kids in the house, those “Mashable, Smashable, Rollable, Buildable Magnets” could end up in their mouth and getting swallowed.
Remember, as we have been warning folks for at least 10 years, even though they are sold as “Magnetic Toys,” these high-powered magnets are not good choices for kids.
What to Know About the Dangers of High-Powered Magnets
High-powered magnets don’t make good toys for kids. Understand the risks if you have them in your home and be sure to seek immediate medical attention if your child swallows a magnet.
More on the Dangers of High-Powered Magnets
- “Toy” Magnets Are Dangerous for Children
- CPSC Warns High-Powered Magnets and Children Make a Deadly Mix
- CPSC – Magnets Information Center
- CPSC Issues Decision on Zen Magnets
- Popular magnets pose risk if swallowed
- CDC – Gastrointestinal Injuries from Magnet Ingestion in Children — United States, 2003–2006
- Study – Attraction Problems Following Magnet Ingestion
- Study – Multiple magnet ingestion as a source of severe gastrointestinal complications requiring surgical intervention.
Last Updated on December 30, 2017 by Vincent Iannelli, MD