More than 22,500 children visited the ER for magnet ingestion during a 9-year span. The problem is so prevalent that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved new national safety standards for high-powered magnet sets in 2014. In some instances the magnet manufacturer was prompted to recall its products, as SCS Direct did with its Magnet Balls Manipulative Magnet Set in 2013.
Young patients who ingest magnets may suffer ulcers, intestinal obstruction, perforations and sepsis. When magnets bind inside the body they often pinch bodily tissue, requiring endoscopies or emergency surgery to remove them. Many of the harmful magnets come from toy parts, or even magnet sets marketed to children.
The popularity of magnetic sets has soared in recent years. Magnets are undeniably fun for kids to play with, but toy manufacturers overlook the life-threatening injuries that may occur when a magnet is ingested. Many toy magnets are small, making them much more likely to be accidentally swallowed or ingested via the nasal passage. The CPSC’s new standards are a start, but many dangerous magnet sets are still in the market and being produced overseas.
Surprisingly, magnets are just as dangerous to pre-teens and young teens as they are toddlers and preschool-age children, according to data compiled in an NPR report. Teens often use them to mock body piercings on the nose, mouth and tongue. Accidental ingestion through the nose or mouth is common.
Some of the brands linked to magnet ingestion include:
- Magnet Balls
- Zen Magnets
- Rainbow Bright Edition Magnet Balls
- Rare-earth magnets
Legal options after your child suffers a magnet injury
If your child ingested a magnet or magnetic part, you need to get him or her immediate medical attention. Most children enjoy a full recovery, but intestinal surgery – including partial removal of the small intestines – raises the child’s risk of future medical problems such as adhesion.
A skilled product liability attorney can help you recover money for all of the harm your child has suffered, including medical expenses and surgery. If the manufacturer knowingly exposed your child to injury without taking reasonable measures to reduce the risk of ingestion, it may be possible to recover punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages.
The Donahey Law Firm offers free initial consultations to victims of dangerous magnets sets. We operate on a contingency fee basis. You pay us nothing unless we win you money damages.