Magnets that look like toys are back on the market and landing kids in the ER

Tiny super-strong rare-earth magnets sold as toys were banned several years ago, but now some of them are back on the market landing kids in the emergency room.

The Troubleshooters have warned you about this time and time again, most recently this past December when we interviewed a local mom about her son who swallowed two magnets and needed surgery.

But unfortunately, kids continue to get hurt and Consumer Reports is raising the red flag about these products once again.

Back in December, Sarah Cohen of Graduate Hospital told us, "These are extremely dangerous, they're so strong that they can tear through someone's intestines."

That's what happened to Sarah Cohen's child at 7-years-old.

The two magnets he ingested drew together - creating holes in his intestines.

"I have this visceral response when I see these things pop up on my newsfeed on Facebook or anywhere as these are great toys for kids," said Sarah.

In 2012, 22-month old Braylon Jordan was another one of thousands of children who ended up in the emergency room for the same reason.

These types of magnets were banned in 2014, but in 2016, a panel of Federal judges voted to rescind the ban.

"Now that the ban has been lifted, and these products are much more readily available, parents, please be vigilant about protecting your kids from the dangers and hazards of these products. Educate them about the hazards, and certainly if you have young kids, avoid having them in your house," said James Dickerson from Consumer Reports.

In 2016, when the ban on rare-earth magnets was first lifted, the number of ingestions reported was 281 but that figure rose to an estimated 1,666 in 2019.

Consumer attorney, Daniel Mann of Feldman Shepherd told the Troubleshooters, "They look like candy. They're colorful. They pose a number of significant risks to children, and people just aren't going to be aware of it."

"I just feel like I was completely blindsided by this and I don't want anyone else to have that experience," said Cohen.

The Toy Association lobby points out "these rare-earth magnets are designed and sold as adult stress-relievers or executive desk products and are not intended to be used as children's toys."

But as emergency rooms data shows, children are still getting hurt by these products.

To read the full story from Consumer Reports, CLICK HERE.
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