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Forums > Social Discussion > Small childen and magnets- a cautionary note

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Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:There's currently several childrens toys with small, but very powerful magnets in.

Last year I had a go with my nephews 'Magnetix' set, which is basically brightly coloured plastic rods with a powerful magnet at each end.

I was very impressed with it and, a couple of weeks ago got talking to my other brother who's got a much younger daughter who also has a set.

I did some internet searching to find the best value supplier of the sets and, along the way, came upon this-

This page gives brief details of a couple of kids who died as a result of swallowing more than one powerful magnet.

These had come loose from magnetix pieces- but the same thing could happen with any small magnets.

I believe that a single magnet swallowed is no more hazardous than any other small object.

Where swallowing more than one small magnet is concerned however, the situation is very much more serious.

This is because powerful magnets (like those in Magnetix sets) can attract each other through folds in bowel tissue or through intestinal walls- they then stay attached and can cause the trapped tissue to necrotise, leading to perforation and, without prompt medical intervention- death.

I've looked at lots of links on this, most are linked to from the page above.

Several children (mainly in America) have died from this and several more have been seriously ill.

I passed on the info to my brother, who was very grateful and I thought I'd put something on HOP as i know there are many parents here.

Another thing to be aware of is, that in homes with a range of ages, it's important for the older children, who won't swallow stuff, to ensure that after using these toys, that magnets haven't come loose and been left on the carpet where younger children can get them.

Please pass on the info to others.

"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!


the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:And one more goes down as...don't beware of the toy, be aware as a parent.

Thanks OWD

Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Thanks OWD - forwarded it to my firends who have 2 little ones.

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:But shouldn't parents not be buying things like magnetix for kids who are still putting things in their mouth? confused

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...


there's no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness
Location: limbo
Member Since: 6th Apr 2006
Total posts: 3764
Posted:wow!! my kids have heaps of magnetix... and they are great fun to play with (for me as well as them wink)

but I am *forever* telling lachie to get them out of his mouth... he chews on the damn things... scary when you think about it like this... eek

--pogo (pat) [forever and always]


Good Ol' Yarn For Hair
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Member Since: 24th Jan 2006
Total posts: 422
Posted:It is said, for children under the age of three, or are prone to attempting to place things in their mouths at ANY age, that they should not be given any toy which can fit into and/or through the cardboard tube of from toilet paper or paper towels. This is the tube-test or the choke-test. Anything which can pass through the tube fails the test and is considered a potential choking hazard. At least, this is what I have always been taught for children, cats, and small dogs.

Wholeheartedly, I agree with Pele to be aware as a parent.

This, Magnetix is a prime example of this. I worked in toy/hobby retail when Magnetix first came out and, being family owned, had the ability to not only see them up close but to play with them (great fun!!!) Magnetix are small and most certainly can fit through such a tube.

*sigh* Parents really need to better check the toys for their children.

I understand the worry and the concern, and I really feel for the family of a child who may have gotten sick attempting to injest toys such as Magnetix. However, the simple fact of the matter is that these are not appropriate toys for any child who might attempt to place them in their mouth.

"So long and thanks for all the fish."


there's no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness
Location: limbo
Member Since: 6th Apr 2006
Total posts: 3764
Posted:the problem with all of this is... that kids... are kids... and they chew on stuff into adolescence AND BEYOND... lachie (my chewer above) is 9... can I prevent a 9yo from having access to any and everything that can\'t pass thru a tube? answer is, HELL NO...

yes, the only answer we have is still parental responsibility and hopefully some common sense... encourage appropriate behaviour (building cool stuff with WAY cool toys like magnetix) and discourage inappropriate behaviour (chewing on afforementioned toys and worse, swallowing them).

and if, as a parent you are truly worried about the potential hazards of a toy and do not wish for them to miss out on the (IMHO considerable) developmental benefits of those toys, then get down on the floor and do it with them!

--pogo (pat) [forever and always]

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