Gastrointestinal Injuries from Magnet Ingestion in Children --- United States, 2003--2006
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has become aware of toy products containing small, powerful rare-earth magnets that pose unique health hazards to children. Since 2003, CPSC staff members have identified one death resulting from ingestion of these magnets and 19 other cases of injuries requiring gastrointestinal surgery. This report describes three selected cases and summarizes the 20 cases of magnet ingestion identified by CPSC that occurred during 2003--2006. Caregivers should keep small magnets away from young children and be aware of the unique risks. Created: 12/8/2006 by MMWR.
Date Released: 12/29/2006. Series Name: A Minute of Health with CDC.
A Minute of Health with CDC
December 29, 2006
Gastrointestinal Injuries from Magnet Ingestion in Children – United States,
This podcast is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC – safer, healthier people.
It’s a predictable childhood hazard – children swallowing something
that was never meant to be eaten. Caregivers have been taught that if objects
are small, smooth, and intact, they usually will pass through a child’s
digestive system without health consequences. But since 2003, the Consumer Product
Safety Commission has identified one death and 19 cases of serious injury caused
by swallowing small, powerful magnets – the kind found in many toys and
common household items.
These magnets present a special hazard. If one is swallowed, it can attach
itself to another, or to any swallowed metal object, and trap tissues or obstruct
the digestive system.
Caregivers should keep small magnets away from children, and understand the
unique risks if a magnet is swallowed. If you suspect a child has swallowed
a magnet, seek health care immediately. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can
lead to serious, even fatal outcomes.
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