Young Children Still At Risk for Swallowing High-Powered Magnets

Holiday shoppers looking for toys this season may want to be mindful of recent warnings regarding high-powered magnets. Despite new warning labels that young children should not play with toys that contain high-powered magnets, many still manage to swallow them, requiring endoscopic or surgical procedures.

In fact, in the past 10 years, 480 children have ingested these tiny, yet powerful magnets, according to a survey by the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology. Of those cases, 204 incidents occurred in a recent 12-month period.

“Young children naturally put things in their mouths as part of their development, and pediatricians counsel parents to be aware of this risk and keep dangerous items out of their chid’s reach, said AAP President Thomas McInerny in a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics. “But no parent can be vigilant 100 percent of the time.”

The survey, which indicates that ingestions are increasing, shows that warning labels are ineffective, said lead author Dr. Robert Noel, a pediatric gastroenterologist.

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