Magnetic toys come in all shapes and sizes. Brightly colored and designed for building activities, these toys can provide a fun, educational experience. However, toys with high-powered magnets can cause severe injuries in children if they’re swallowed. It’s important for parents and caregivers to be aware of this potential harm and keep a close eye on children of all ages playing with high-powered magnets.
High-powered magnets are among the most dangerous ingestion hazards in children. These small, shiny magnets are made from rare earth metals and sold in sets of 100 balls or more for children to sculpt into different shapes.
Swallowing more than one of these magnets can be life-threatening. Once ingested, the magnets can pull together in your child’s digestive system with enough force to cause serious damage to the delicate gut tissue.
Many children do not have any symptoms after swallowing a high-powered magnet. If you’re child does have symptoms, they may include:
If you think your child has swallowed a high-powered toy magnet, call IPC at 1-800-222-1222 immediately. Putting off evaluation and potential treatment can lead to severe injuries to your child’s stomach, intestines and digestive tract. It can even lead to death.
If you have high-powered magnetic toys in your home, follow these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
IPC is here to help. Calls to our helpline, 1-800-222-1222, are free and confidential. Toxicology experts are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week.