Magnet Ingestions Highlight Dangerous Product Parts

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New Jersey children, like all children, are curious and as such are likely to experiment by touching and tasting almost anything. Children’s natural affinity for chewing on their toys and other objects they get their hands on may lead to illness. Parents need to be ever on guard because contact with a dangerous product may come from unlikely places, including children’s toys which may have small parts.

Recently, there has been an increase in attention to the use of magnets in toys. This has been fed by reports of children ingesting the magnets. The cases of children who have fallen ill after ingesting magnets are coming in from all over the world, not just the U.S., and they appear to be on the rise.

The medical dangers that are directly tied to these products have prompted advocates to speak out. They say toy manufacturers should be aware and accountable for the dangers associated with magnets and how they are used in toys. Similarly, they say parents need to be more vigilant when allowing their children to play with toys featuring magnetic components.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, only one incident of magnetic ingestion was reported in 2009. In2010, the number rose to seven. And by 2011, 14 cases had been reported.

What makes these otherwise low numbers alarming is that it is not just young children who are falling victim to these dangerous products. According to reports, the age range for magnet ingestion is 18 months to 15 years of age. Toddlers may get their hands on magnets from toys. Older children may swallow magnets used to hold faux tongue and lip piercing accessories in place.

Of those cases reported since 2009, 11 required surgery to remove the magnets. Without removal, magnets poke holes through internal organs, cause flu-like symptoms and have other harmful side effects.

While the CPSC has formed regulations regarding magnets in children’s products, no such rules apply to adult products that may contain magnets. That said, New Jersey parents may be wise to carefully examine products in the home that contain magnets and ensure that they are safely out of reach of children.

Source: ABCNews.com, “Experts Warn of Magnet Dangers in Children,” Mikaela Conley, June 22, 2012

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