A few months back one couple from Kiln, Mississippi made an unfortunate purchase. They were shopping in their hometown and came across a box of high-powered magnets that could be arranged into various shapes. They decided to buy them for fun. When they got home they put the box on a high shelf but it wasn’t enough to keep their 2-year-old son Braylon from finding and swallowing eight of them.
Had they just been round balls there would not have been much of an issues as the child would have simply passed them. Because they were magnets they were attracted to one another and made a lump which ended up tearing a hole through the baby’s intestines. Braylon has now been in the hospital for nearly two months, almost all of that time spent in the ICU. He’s had six surgeries, developed a blood infection and been sedated for three full weeks. Though he’s on track to leave the hospital soon doctors are saying he’ll still need an intestinal transplant because so much tissue had to be removed.
Though there have been no thorough studies on children ingesting magnets, the Consumer Products Safety Commission has received some 200 reports of incidents since 2008. One of Braylon’s physicians, Dr. R. Adam Noel, conducted a survey of his own, asking a group of pediatric gastroenterologists their experience with the problem. The 33 physicians who responded to Noel’s survey had seen a combined 82 patients who had swallowed magnets. The vast majority of these children had, like Braylon, suffered bowel perforations.
Dr. Noel said he and a group of other doctors will be meeting with the CPSC to discuss ways to ensure that other children don’t needlessly suffer from similar accidents. Dr. Noel says he’s surprised by how little protection exists regarding the issue. Officials at the CPSC are saying that recalls are possible as all options are on the table.
The companies that make the toys say that the products are perfectly safe if used according to their directions. The company that makes one such product, Buckbyalls, says that “You have to keep them up high, like scissors, or prescription drugs. You tell kids not to touch the stove. It’s no different with a product like Buckyballs.”
Doctors wonder whether that’s true as the products can contain hundreds of magnets and if even a few go missing parents may not notice. Children can run across the magnets, not understanding the damage they can cause, and swallow them as some look like candy. If you or some you know has been injured, you need the help of a Mississippi injury attorney knowledgeable of the state’s confusing personal injury law to help protect your rights and recover damages for your injury. Contact Stroud, Flechas & Dalton today at (662) 536-5656.
Source: “Powerful magnets in toys raise risks from swallowing,” by Elizabeth Cohen, published at NewsNet5.com.