Category Archives: Safety

Toys to avoid, #1

Bad toy!

Ah, ’tis the season! Chestnuts are roasting, sleighbells are ringing, etc., and, unfortunately, toy companies are turning out a spate of new items that carry unusual safety concerns for children.

Today’s example: those tiny, round, powerful and popular magnets (sold as Neocube and other brands). If swallowed by a child they can cause considerable harm, even death.

Here’s what happens: a toddler swallows one magnet (or more) and then later swallows another, or a metallic object. Sitting in different parts of the bowel, the magnets/metal objects are instantly attracted to each other, pinching loops of bowel between them as they connect.

The trapped bowel tissue may die, leading to a perforation (hole) in the intestine, or the magnets may obstruct the bowel–conditions that both require emergency surgery.

This isn’t a theoretical concern. At least 19 children have required surgery to remove such magnets, and one 20 month-old died as a result.

So if you have small children, or are around them in daily life, don’t buy these. If you already have them, put them away or get rid of them altogether.



Filed under Safety