Problem of Magnet Ingestion in Children and Teens Continues to Grow

The issue of magnets causing injuries in children is one that has become a rising concern. In fact, a study published in 2013 in Annals of Emergency Medicine from researchers at the University of Washington suggests that it’s become a bigger problem than anticipated. There were approximately 0.5 cases per 100,000 children in 2002. But that increased to about three per 200,000 children in 2010.

Many of the problems stemmed from children or teenagers ingesting magnets through the nose or mouth. Although the number entering through the nose did decrease over the study period, swallowing incidences increased.

The average age for ingesting magnets through the nose was 10 years old. The average age was 5 years old for swallowing. Even though younger children are prone to put things in their mouths, teenagers have been known to use high-powered magnets as jewelry, resulting in accidental swallowing.

The study also found that more than 70 percent of magnetic foreign body ingestions and more than 90 percent of multiple magnet ingestions occurred in 2007 or later. Although only 2.3 percent of children who swallowed a single magnet ended up in the hospital, 15.7 percent who ingested more than one were hospitalized.

Even though the study didn’t focus on the types of magnets ingested, it’s believed that most were small in size, with many of the incidences involving desktop toys.

A manufacturer, Maxfield & Oberton Holdings LLC, for example, discontinued its toy, Buckyballs, last year. Despite this, a limited number were still available for sale.

Dangerous Product for Children and Teens 

When a single magnet is swallowed along with a metal object or another magnet, the magnetic force could be powerful enough to damage the intestines. Left undetected, it could lead to a life-threatening infection. Worst-case-scenario, the loss of life could result.

If a product is responsible for your injuries, contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates to discuss taking legal action to recover damages: (800) 246-4878.

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