Keep children away from magnet balls

2 serious cases of accidental ingestion of magnetic beads by children have been reported to health authorities. The General Directorate of Health alerts parents to the risks of “anti-stress” items intended for adults.

Recently two cases of accidental ingestion of magnetic beads by children under the age of 3 were reported to health authorities. The latter (Directorate General for Health, ANSES, DGCCRF and Public Health France) have therefore issued a common alert to parents, reminding them that “should strictly keep objects containing magnetic balls out of the reach of children, who could in particular confuse them with candy, and swallow them “.

Products containing magnetic beads (building blocks or anti-stress desktop gadgets) are not intended for children under the age of 14: they are therefore not subject to any specific regulations. But for safety, they must be kept out of their reach because they can especially swallow them, as is the case with button batteries.

What are the risks of ingestion?

Magnetic marbles are more dangerous than simple glass marbles or coins that the child could also swallow. Once ingested, they can indeed clump together, obstruct the digestive tract and tear the intestinal walls causing perforations. The most serious cases require heavy surgery and can be life-threatening in children.

What to do if swallowed?

Even if you only “assume” that your child has swallowed a marble, don’t wait and call a poison control center immediately who will give you medical advice and what to do next. In a life-threatening emergency, call 15 or 112.

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