Small magnets hazardous to children

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission “are warning parents that high-powered magnets marketed as desk toys and stress relievers for adults can pose a deadly hazard to kids.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that kids “have been known to swallow the tiny magnets, which can then attract each other inside the body, causing small holes in the stomach and intestines, intestinal blockage, blood poisoning or other serious injuries that can be fatal.”

The AP reports the agency “has received 14 reports of problems with the magnets, up from seven reports last year and one in 2009.”

The children “ranged in age from 18 months to 15 years old. Eleven of the children required surgery to remove the magnets.”

CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said, “The symptoms can pose as a cold or the flu and send parents to the doctor multiple times before an X-ray is done revealing the blockage.”

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