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Child magnet warning

Friday June 22nd, 2012

The use of magnets on children's toys could pose a major health risk, two doctors warn today.

The Nottingham doctors have twice seen cases in which children swallowed magnetic objects.

One infant swallowed ten small magnetic spheres, according to a report in The Lancet.

Magnets pose a particular threat because of the risk that two magnets may become attracted to each other as they pass through the body, the doctors say. This could cause fistulas in the bowel.

Dr Anil Thomas George, of the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK, said: "We are particularly concerned about the widespread availability of cheap magnetic toys where the magnetic parts could become easily detached.

"Parents should be warned of the risk of magnet ingestion, particularly in small children. We believe that improvement in public awareness about this risk will be key in preventing such incidents."

He added: "While we understand that it may be impossible to prevent small children from occasionally swallowing objects, we would highlight to parents the potential harm that could arise from multiple magnet ingestion.

"We would advise parents to be more vigilant and take extra care when giving their children toys that may contain magnets small enough to swallow."

The Lancet June 22 2012

Tags: A&E | Child Health | UK News

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