CPSC Warns High-Powered Magnets and Children Make a Deadly Mix
With tweens and teenagers, how the product is being used has resulted in magnets being unintentionally inhaled and swallowed. CPSC is also aware of instances where the magnets were swallowed intentionally. To mimic body piercings, the older children are placing two or more magnets on opposite sides of their ear lobes, tongue and nose.
"We sell our magnetic desk toy product, Nanospheres, on Amazon.com for adults only. As the Amazon product description and warning labels on the product itself state, these products are hazardous if ingested and are not appropriate for young children," said Dan Taggert, CEO of Kringles Toys and Gifts, manufacturer of Nanospheres.
"High-powered magnets, such as Buckyballs, are products for adult use only and should be kept away from all children," said Craig Zucker, CEO of Maxfield and Oberton, the manufacturer of Buckyballs.
CPSC, Kringles Toys and Gifts and Maxfield and Oberton are urging consumers who have purchased magnet sets for children younger than 14 years of age (or households with children under 14 years of age) to remove access to the sets by children immediately and contact the firms for a refund.
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Although this is CPSC's first product wide public warning about high-powered ball-bearing magnets used in adult products, the agency has issued safety alerts previously about the dangers of powerful magnets falling out of children's toys. In April 2007, CPSC issued a warning about the possibility of high-powered magnets detaching from children's toys, such as building sets, causing injuries and death. At that time, CPSC was aware of the death of a 20-month-old child and of 33 incidents involving children who had swallowed magnets. Of these 33 incidents, 19 children required surgery to remove the magnets. Since 2008, CPSC has received more than 200 reports of children swallowing magnets and at least 18 of those children required emergency surgery to remove the magnets.
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