On the heels of a major recall of magnetic toys by Toys “R” US and several online retailers, a recent article statement by the Consumer Product Safety Commission discussed the dangers that magnetic items can pose to young children.
Earlier this week Toys “R” Us, Overstock.com, Barnes & Noble and Bed Bath and Beyond announced that it would recall a product known as Buckyballs, which are high-powered magnet sets. The products have been recalled by the retailers after concerns were raised that the magnets might cause internal injuries to children if ingested.
The CPSC says it has received more than 54 repots of children ingesting high-powered magnets, which resulted in 53 reports of medical intervention. The toys made in recent years are much stronger, 10 to 20 times more powerful, than older magnetic toys sold even just a few years ago. This power also brings significant danger to young children who swallow the toys.
The CPSC says that most swallowed objects are not dangerous unless they get stuck in the throat or have the potential to erode through the walls of the intestines. Doctors say that about 80 percent of the foreign objects that reach a person’s stomach are passed uneventfully, only between 10 and 20 percent require retrieval by a doctor.
While magnets might appear to be safe, they are actually very dangerous if more than one is swallowed. When there are multiple magnets, especially high-powered magnets, inside a person, they can adhere to one another and trap or twist tissues stuck between them. These tissues, especially the intestines, can become blocked or develop holes which then leads to massive infections.
The problem is a serious one according to doctors. The North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology says that in the past decade, 480 cases of high-powered magnet ingestions have been reported. In just the past 12 months, there have been 204 such reports, indicating that the trend is speeding up rather than slowing down. Other countries have taken action to protect children from the possible harm of accidental ingestion and in Australia and New Zealand all high-powered magnets are banned from children’s toys, jewelry and construction kits.
The Virginia Injury Attorney’s Perspective:
Parents with young children should pay special attention if your child plays with magnetic toys. Safety experts say that parents should make sure to get rid of any toy sets that contain magnets that can easily come loose. Also, regularly check to make sure magnetic pieces have not dislodged in any of the magnetized toys. Watch for symptoms such as severe stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea, which can be a sign that your child may have swallowed a magnet. If you believe your child swallowed a magnetic toy, its critical to seek medical attention right away given the possibility of internal damage.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective consumer product, including a magnetic toy, consider consulting with an experienced VA injury attorney. My colleagues and I have the background to fight for the justice you deserve.
Potentially Helpful Information:
If your child has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, you may be able to hold the company that manufactured and marketed the device accountable by filing claims for compensation for medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Read this article to begin learning about your legal rights and options when a faulty product leads to injuries.
You can learn more by reading through this online library of lawyers' answers to frequently asked questions regarding recalled, poorly designed and unsafe consumer goods.
Here's a video where Kevin Duffan explains what to do after suffering an injury: