HealthyChildren.org is asking those shopping for kids to reconsider magnetic toys.
Officials explain that while refrigerator magnets and other magnetic toys can provide a fun, educational experience for many young children; loose magnets and high-powered magnet sets designed for adults can cause serious injuries if swallowed.
In November 2016, a ban on high-powered magnet sets was overturned, meaning the products are back on store shelves. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) ordered high-powered magnet sets manufactured by Zen Magnets to stop being sold in stores in November 2017, but other brands are still being sold.
Officials explain these products are often made up of tiny and very powerful magnet balls or cubes and are extremely dangerous if swallowed. Once ingested, they can pull together with enough force to cause serious and even life-threatening damage to the digestive system.
The American Academy of Pediatrics urges families with children not to have high-powered magnet sets in their home.
Tips to protect your children from the dangers of magnets include:
- Keep products with small or loose magnets away from young children who might swallow them.
- Closely monitor loose magnets and other magnetic products to ensure children do not swallow them.
- Avoid purchasing magnets sold in sets of 100 or more, as it is difficult to recognize if a few magnets have gone missing.
- Talk to your older children and teens about the serious dangers associated with using magnets as fake piercings in their mouths or noses.
Symptoms of Magnet ingestion:
- Abdominal pain, vomiting, and fever. Because these symptoms are common in children and not usually caused by ingested objects, the true cause may not be suspected right away.
- Delaying treatment can lead to severe injuries to the stomach, intestines, and digestive system.
- Contact your pediatrician or nearest emergency department immediately if you suspect your child has swallowed or been injured by a magnet.
Michaela Madison Reporting