Toys That Can Turn Into ‘Shrapnel’

November 7, 2012
Doctors Say Magnetic Balls Caused Dozens of Injuries in Past Two Years

Oct 23, 2012 11:30 AM

A study released today says that hundreds of children and teens have been treated by physicians, with dozens needing surgery for injuries, in just the past two years after swallowing tiny super-strong magnetic balls despite labels and warnings to keep them away from children.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission this past summer moved to recall the existing magnet toys, which typically are sold in sets of 100 or more BB-sized balls as adult desk playthings under brand names such as Buckyballs, Zen Magnets, and NeoCube, which was the first of these toys to hit the market in 2008. Although many manufacturers and importers say they will comply with the CPSC’s action, two are contesting the move.

The newest study is based on reports compiled from a North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition survey of 354 pediatric gastroenterologists who had treated a total of 480 cases in which children or teens swallowed the tiny magnets, with 204 incidents occurring in just the past 12 months. Download a PDF of the press release about the study.



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