Firm-Wide blog

Keep Out of Reach: Children Swallowing Magnets Can Be Fatal

By Burg Simpson
June 18, 2020
3 min read

Magnets are commonly found in households across the nation. They can come in the form of stress relievers, desk decorations, and may even be marketed as toys. They can come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors, and are often sold in sets of large numbers. They can be fun to play with and form into unique shapes, and as a result attract people of all ages. However, recent events suggest that these magnets can pose unique injury risks to children. Unfortunately, Burg Simpson has recently received reports of children being hospitalized after swallowing magnets.

What makes magnets so dangerous to children?

Children are particularly attracted to magnets. Given that magnets are commonly found in shiny, colorful, small shapes, it is no wonder that kids would be drawn to them. As with other toys, kids may be inclined to put the magnets into their mouths. For this reason, magnets can pose a choking hazard to children. High-powered, “rare earth” magnets pose an even greater hazard to children when ingested. Rare earth magnets were popularized in the 2000s, and can wield up to 30 times the magnetic strength of standard home magnets. Again, given the tendency to put small objects in their mouths, children can easily swallow multiple small magnets. A child swallowing more than one high-powered magnet can trigger a significant medical emergency.

Swallowing magnets can cause children to suffer serious injuries and death.

When a child swallows two or more magnets or a magnet and another metal piece, the two objects can attract within the child’s body. As a scary example, the objects may attract one another through intestinal walls, which may lead to the tearing, twisting, and/or blockage of the intestines, infection, blood poisoning, and even death. The Washington Post reports that the nation’s poison control centers were on track to record nearly 1,600 cases of accidental magnet ingestion, several of which involved surgical intervention or death. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges parents to keep small magnets out of the reach of young children, and keep an eye out for their child exhibiting abdominal symptoms such as pains, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. If you suspect your child has swallowed a magnet, seek immediate medical attention.

Burg Simpson is here to help.

If your child has been injured after swallowing a magnet, call one of Burg Simpson’s award-winning products liability attorneys in Cincinnati today. Burg Simpson has a proven track record of seeking justice for consumers and holding corporations accountable for the harm that they cause. Our experienced lineup of lawyers possess the resources and reputation to fight for your legal rights. Call 513-852-5600 to discuss your potential claim, or fill out our contact form for a FREE no-obligation consultation today!


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