The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning to parents that small magnets from toys can pose a serious danger to children. According to the warning, hundreds of complaints have been filed with the CPSC stating that small magnets have fallen out of toys where they may pose a hazard to children who may swallow the magnets.
There have been 33 cases where children swallowing magnets have required emergency surgery and lengthy hospital stays. There has been at least one case resulting in death. At least ten of the injuries have included children between the ages of 6 and 11. The injuries suffered from the magnets have included intestinal perforation, which is of particular danger when magnets are swallowed along with other metallic objects or other magnets that attract one another through the intestinal walls. This can result in the magnets twisting and pinching the intestine.
The CPSC has conducted five recalls of products containing magnets, which involved over 8 million products. Recently, on March 31, the CPSC recalled over 4 million Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets citing at least 1,500 incidents of the magnets separating from the toys.
Consumers concerned with the Magnetix recall should contact Mega Brands, and the CPSC is encouraging consumers to report any loose magnet incidents.