Every household has them, whether in toys or on the refrigerator. They are magnets and they are hazardous to children, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In addition to being a choking hazard, once inside the stomach, the magnets can cause internal damage.
If a child swallows two or more magnets, they can cause small holes in the stomach and intestines. In addition, magnets can cause blood poisoning, intestinal blockage, and death, according to the CPSC. Since 2009, reports involving incidents with magnets and children have increased. So far in 2011, the CPSC has received 22 reports of incidents involving children ranging in age 18-months to 15-years.
The incidents involve magnets found in desk toys sold in office supply stores, gift shops, stationery stores, and on the Internet. Smaller children can find the magnets on a table, refrigerator, sofa, or on the floor. A spokesperson for the CPSC said that doctors and emergency rooms should know how to treat children who accidentally and unintentionally swallow magnets.
Approved by attorney David Schloss