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Swallowed magnets a danger to kids

The Commonwealth of Kentucky lists a fishing game on its online roster of recent child product safety recalls, deemed hazardous due to a small magnet inside the worm that can come loose. Magnets are a choking hazard for children, but they pose other serious health dangers, as well.

The National Capital Poison Center states that small, strong magnets can cause severe internal damage. When swallowed, multiple magnets, or even one magnet in combination with another object, such as a coin, can stick together through intestinal walls. Infection, internal bleeding and other, potentially irreversible harm occur when the blood supply is cut off between pleated or sealed tissue. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that between 2009 and 2011, 1,700 people, mostly children, went to the hospital after swallowing a magnet.

The CPSC lists thousands of child product recalls and dangerous children’s toys with magnetic components on their website. Magnets in toys intended for babies and toddlers are only a fraction of the problem. The use of magnets in toys for older kids, as well as in adult novelties, has made them more accessible to young children. The following are a few items that are constructed with magnets that could be dangerous if swallowed:

  •        Magnetic construction sets
  •        Stress-relieving desk toys geared for adults
  •        Refrigerator magnets

Young children are not always able to communicate a problem, or tell someone why they feel ill. When children swallow magnets, they may behave as though they have a virus. Fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting are all possible symptoms of magnet ingestion.

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