Toys with small parts will always pose a choking hazard to children, but one recent federal notice has raised concerns about certain small parts that are even more dangerous than usual.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) posted an online notice warning about the danger of high-powered magnetic balls inside toys.
CPSC’s notice comes after a toy company announced a recall of its products following seven deaths linked to ingestion. According to the agency, the magnets used were made from rare-earth metals stronger than what’s permitted by safety regulations.
The agency warned that if children ingested two or more magnets, the balls could attract each other in the stomach. The attraction is so strong that it could punch holes into intestinal walls or block intestines, leading to infection and blood poisoning.
CPSC noted that from 2017 to 2021, there were about 2,400 hospital emergency room visits related to ingested magnets.
Addressing ingested magnets in children
If you’re a parent or guardian of a child who ingested magnets, your top priority is to seek medical attention. Symptoms that a child may have ingested magnets include:
- Abdominal pain
These symptoms are non-specific, but if they persist despite medication, your child may have swallowed something that doesn’t belong inside their body.
Once you take your child to a doctor for treatment, document all the medical expenses associated with your child’s recovery. Also preserve evidence related to the toy that caused the injury such as its packaging, purchase receipts, etc.
You may be able to file a product liability lawsuit if your child’s injuries resulted from a toy manufacturer’s faulty design or lack of safety compliance. Consider consulting a legal professional who can determine if you have a valid claim and guide you through the process.