Tags: magnets | ingested | kids

Magnet Warning Issued for Children

Thursday, 28 June 2012 02:15 PM

Children’s health experts are issuing new warnings on the dangers of small but powerful magnets being ingested by kids, citing two new cases detailed this week in the Lancet.
In both cases, which occurred in the U.K., the children became seriously ill after ingesting magnetic pieces contained in toys that became lodged in their digestive systems. The first case involved an 18-month-old child who swallowed 10 small magnetic spheres and the second involved an 8-year-old who ingested two long magnetic strips.
Dr. Anil Thomas George of Queen's Medical Centre at Nottingham University Hospitals said the increased "widespread availability" of cheap magnetic toys has led to an increase in such cases and that parents need to be aware of the dangers.
"While we understand that it may be impossible to prevent small children from occasionally swallowing objects, we would highlight to parents the potential harm that could arise from multiple magnet ingestion,” George said. “We would advise parents to be more vigilant and take extra care when giving their children toys that may contain magnets small enough to swallow.
“We would also welcome an increased awareness of this problem among toy manufacturers, who have a responsibility to alert parents to the presence of magnets in their products."
George noted small objects, including magnets, can usually pass through a child’s digestive system without causing any illness or internal damage. But when several magnets are ingested they can become attracted to each other inside the body, sandwiching internal tissues and causing serious problems.
Typically, children don’t experience pain or other issues right after swallowing magnets, making it difficult for parents to recognize the cause of the problem.
Concerns about problems with magnets in the U.S. have led to numerous public alerts and product recalls in recent years, but George said more needs to be done to raise parents’ awareness of the hazards.
"We believe that improvement in public awareness about this risk will be key in preventing such incidents," he said.

© HealthDay

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New warnings are issued on the dangers of small, powerful magnets being ingested by kids.
Thursday, 28 June 2012 02:15 PM
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