Powerful ball-bearing magnets marketed as desk toys and stress relievers for adults pose a big threat to children cautioned the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC has received 14 reports of problems with the magnets this year. 7 reports of problems were registered last year and 1 in 2009. The children involved were between 18 months to 15 years old. 11 of these children required surgery to remove the magnets. In older children and teenagers the magnets have been swallowed after
placing them on opposite sides of earlobes, tongue and nose to mimic
Accidental swallowing of two or more of these tiny magnets leads to serious injuries like intestinal blockage, blood poisoning and small holes in the stomach or intestines. The symptoms can pose as a cold or flu and parents might end up visiting the doctor multiple times before an X-ray is done that reveals the blockage.
The CPSC is advising parents to keep magnets away from young children and seek immediate medical attention if a magnet is swallowed.