Kids Swallow Magnets And Prompts Safety Review

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If you have the magnetic building toys sold as Nanospheres or Buckyballs-- a new warning suggests you should keep them out of small hands. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a health warning about the popular desktop toy. The LA Times explains why.

"The commission said it knows of at least 33 cases of children who were injured after swallowing magnets ... in addition to the death of a 20-month old... While not stated in the report, we're guessing the same warnings would hold true for pets as well."

Eleven children this year required surgery to get the toys out of their bodies. The magnets can attract to one another when they're on opposite sides of tissue, causing blockages and infections.

KATU tells the story of one boy who swallowed three of them.

"One mother didn't realize her son swallowed three magnets until he got sick. Three magnets got stuck in his stomach, and attracted to one another-- wearing a hole in his intestines."

The commission suggests the magnets are so tiny it's better to keep them away from children altogether. Medical News Today reports how the companies who make the toys are responding.

"Their CEOs were keen to point out that they only sell them to adults ... They, and CSPC urge all parents to be vigilant ... and if they have bought them for children under 14, take them away from them straight away and contact the firms for a refund."

Even teens have reportedly swallowed the magnets by accident -- while trying to simulate a tongue piercing.

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