Magnet sets that injure kids recalled

The Washington Post reported the Consumer Product Safety Commission “announced … a recall for two brands of high-powered magnet sets [Zen Magnets and Neoballs].” This is a somewhat surprising ending to a nearly decade-long court battle that pitted business interests against the pleas of doctors alarmed by the number of children injured after ingesting the tiny magnetic pieces.

The sets “were intended for adults. The magnets — each the size of a BB pellet — could pull together inside a child’s intestines after ingestion, in some cases causing serious injuries and at least one death, regulators said.”

In fact, several thousand children were reported to have accidentally swallowed small, powerful magnets made by various manufacturers over the last decade, according to hospitals and poison control data.”

“It’s about damn time,” said Bryan Rudolph, spokesman for the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, who has treated children in the hospital for magnet ingestion, told the Washington Post.

The mandatory recall does not affect high-powered magnet sets made by other companies; however, the CPSC is working on regulations that would effectively ban all magnet sets.

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