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“Buckyballs” Magnets Pose Serious Risks to Young Children

Buckyballs magnets pose dangerous swallow hazard for young children

After learning that a 3-year-old child suffered from tears in her lower intestine and stomach after swallowing 37 Buckyballs, the company is once again warning consumers that the magnets are not toys.   The Buckyballs magnets were voluntarily recalled by the company in May 2010 after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned of a swallowing hazard to young children.

The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the Oregon child underwent surgery to remove the magnets that had snapped together inside her stomach, resembling a bracelet.  She is expected to recover.  Last year, a sixth-grader in California underwent surgery after swallowing eight of the magnets.

Buckyballs are a set of round, high-powered magnets that are meant to be used by adults as a stress-relieving desk toy.  However, a serious danger is raised when a child swallows more than one magnet. These objects can attract to each other through intestinal walls, causing holes, twisting or blockage of the intestines and leading to infection, blood poisoning and death. If this occurs, surgery may be required to remove the magnets or small pieces of magnet.

The CPSC issued a press release in November warning of the growing number of incidents of children swallowing “high-powered magnets.”  The CPSC reports it has received 22 incidents involving the magnets and children from June 2009 to October 2011. 17 of the incidents involved magnet ingestion, and 11 required surgical removal of the magnets.

“We want parents to be aware of the danger associated with these innocent looking magnets,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum in the press release. “The potential for serious injury and death if multiple magnets are swallowed demands that parents and medical professionals be aware of this hidden hazard and know how to treat a child in distress.”

The CPSC issued a video alerting children and young teens of the dangers of swallowing the magnets.  The video is made by a child and is meant to appeal to children explaining what can happen if the magnets are swallowed. The CPSC reports that young teens use the magnets to mimic tongue piercings.

Buckyballs released the following statement on their website:
“Buckyballs was saddened to learn that a 3-year old girl in Oregon had swallowed high-powered magnets but we are relieved that she is expected to make a full recovery. This unfortunate incident underscores the fact that Buckyballs and Buckycubes are for adults. They are not toys and are not intended for children. We urge all consumers to read and comply with the warnings we place on all our products, on our website and in stores. Please keep these products out of the hands and reach of all children.

Small magnets, such as those found in Buckyballs, building sets and other toys, can kill children if two or more are swallowed.  It is critical that parents keep these out of reach of small children.  If you believe your child was injured by a dangerous or defective toy, you may be eligible for compensation.

At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, our goal is to provide exceptional legal services to our clients. We strive to achieve the highest standard of excellence for the protection of individual rights through team work and the use of our considerable resources and experience.

For a free consultation regarding your dangerous children’s toy claim, contact us today online for a free consultation or call us toll free at 877-605-2901.

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