Magnetic toys and fake piercings can be source of fun for kids and can also offer educational experience. However, loose magnetic toys that have been designed for adults can cause serious injuries and other lifelong impacts for children. It is for this reason that the American Academy of Pediatrics advocated for CPSC safety standards for toys containing magnets. These standards ensure that the magnets in kid’s products don’t fall off or become dislodged. This minimizes the risk of loose magnets being swallowed by young kids.
Unfortunately, the safety standards only apply to kid’s products. With magnets being found in adult products, there have been instances when children have been injured as a result of swallowing small and round magnets that are marketed as desk toys for adults. In fact, there are hundred of toys that have been repositioned as adult toys and are sold in hundreds of BB-sized balls that can be molded into countless shapes. Unfortunately, kids still ingest them. There are many cases of serious stomach and intestinal injuries that have been reported as a result of kids swallowing the magnets.
When swallowed, the magnets that are made of rare-earth mineral neodymium stick together with a lot of force and can bore holes in the stomach and intestinal injuries. It is for this reason that doctors recommending their banning. Even when parents are aware of the risk of these products, it can be difficult to keep them out of the reach of children.
Tips to protect children from magnetic toys
- Keeping toys with loose or small magnets away from children
- Closely monitoring loose magnets to ensure that kids don’t swallow them
- Not buying magnets that are sold in sets of 100 as it can be difficult to recognize any missing magnets
- Talk to children about serious risks of magnets.
When children have ingested magnets, they can suffer from abdominal pain, fever and vomiting. It is important to contact a pediatrician immediately.