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Experts Warn Magnetic Toys May Pose Danger

An example of the magnetic desk toy Buckyballs. (Credit: Consumer Product Safety Commission)

An example of the magnetic desk toy Buckyballs. (Credit: Consumer Product Safety Commission)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Consumer Product Safety Commission has decided to file a lawsuit against the maker of “Buckyballs” a popular magnetic desk toy, following a years-long investigation. Even though local physicians have not seen an issue with this particular product, they are unfortunately all too familiar with children swallowing magnets and they are asking parents to remain vigilant.

Ear Nose and Throat specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Dr. Ian Jacobs had a recent case of a similar product.

“The one case we did have involving the airway was easy to remove, because of the strong magnetism of the balls. It actually attracted the metallic suction and it was easy to pull right out.”

Across the city, Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Dr. Christopher Haines says, “We have had children who have ingested multiple magnets.”

Both doctors say it becomes very dangerous if the magnets reach the intestinal tract.

Dr. Haines explains, “If you ingest a single magnet, you are probably okay unless it has heavy metals in it. However, if you ingest multiple magnets, they can get stuck in different pieces of your intestine and they can get stuck together. And, that can result in intestinal injury and blockage of your intestine.”

Both say parents must remain vigilant and if a toddler or small child is visiting your home, take a walk around before he or she arrives to check for items that could cause harm.

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