Home > children and families, Consumer Product Safety Commission, safety > CPSC Warns High-Powered Magnets and Children Make a Deadly Mix

CPSC Warns High-Powered Magnets and Children Make a Deadly Mix

November 11, 2011

CPSC Warns High-Powered Magnets and Children Make a Deadly Mix
Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission

An increasing number of incident reports to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicate that high-powered magnets continue to be a safety risk to children. From toddlers to teens, children are swallowing these magnets and the consequences are severe.

Although the risk scenarios differ by age group, the danger is the same. When two or more magnets are swallowed, they can attract one another internally, resulting in serious injuries, such as small holes in the stomach and intestines, intestinal blockage, blood poisoning and even death.

Reports of incidents involving these high-powered ball-bearing magnets have increased since 2009. Specifically, CPSC received one incident report in 2009, seven in 2010 and 14 through October 2011. These 22 incidents have involved children ranging in age from 18 months to 15 years old. Of the reported incidents, 17 involved magnet ingestion and 11 required surgical removal of the magnets. When a magnet has to be removed surgically, it often requires the repair of the child’s damaged stomach and intestines.

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