Northampton Area Pediatrics, LLP
193 Locust Street 
Northampton, MA 01060
413-584-1714 (fax)

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Tuesday, January 1
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Tuesday, December 24
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Tuesday, December 31
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August 23, 2012
Category: In the News
Tags: Untagged

Warning!  Swallowed Magnets are Dangerous!

Source: North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Neteios

Powerful, rare earth (neodymium) magnets are widely available in consumer and industrial products including desk toys,  office toys, childrens' toys, office supplies, jewelry, pain relief products, and machines and tools.

These magnets usually are small in size and round in shape, like BBs or ball bearings.  Magnet ball brand names include BuckyBalls™ and Neocube™.  Though intended for adult use, they are difficult to keep out of the reach of children because they are shiny and attractive to toddlers.  They are also used by “tweens” and teens to mimic body piercing jewelry.  Extremely powerful magnetic attractions are produced by these. 

When more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnetic force can bring two pieces of intestine tightly together, and make holes in the intestines.  Magnet ingestion can lead to bowel injury, blockage or severe infection.  There are over 200 documented cases of children swallowing these magnets.  Most require emergency procedures for removal and some require major surgery.

What can parents do?

·        Keep tiny ultra-powerful magnets out of the reach of infants and toddlers

·        Educate your older children and teens about the risks of swallowing these magnets.  These magnets are not children’s toys.

·        If your toddler or child swallows these magnets, immediately call your doctor or go to the emergency department


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