News & Insights

Small Magnets, Fatal Danger


December 13, 2023

By: Amy L. Bradley

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urgently warning parents that a popular magnetic ball set marketed to children poses a risk of serious injury or death. 

Parents are urged to immediately cease using and safely dispose of Ming Tai Trade’s 216-Piece 5mm Magnetic Ball Sets. CPSC testing revealed that the toys violate federal toy regulations and contain stronger magnets than permitted. Children who ingest the magnets may have digestive system injuries including perforations, twisting, blockages, infections, and even die. 2,400 cases of magnet ingestion were reported by hospital emergency departments from 2017 – 2021, resulting in seven reported deaths.

The health hazards associated with ingesting small magnets, particularly for small children, include:

  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Swallowed magnets can attract to each other or other metal objects within the digestive system, causing issues such as perforations, twisting, and blockages.
  • Internal Injuries: The clustering of magnets in the digestive system can cause physical damage to the intestinal walls, leading to perforations, serious internal injuries, inflammation, and infection.
  • Blood Poisoning (Sepsis): Magnets causing damage to the intestinal walls may lead to bacterial infection entering the bloodstream, resulting in sepsis—an urgent, potentially life-threatening condition.
  • Respiratory Issues: If magnets attract to each other in different sections of the digestive system, they can cause blockages, leading to respiratory problems if they compress or interfere with the airways.
  • Death: Complications from magnet ingestion, such as intestinal blockages, perforations, and sepsis, can, in extreme cases, lead to death—a rare but serious consequence.

If you or someone you know has a child that has been injured by Ming Tai Trade’s Magnetic Ball Set, please call the Blankingship & Keith injury team.

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