CPSC Estimates 2,400 Magnet Ingestion Injuries Resulted in ER Treatment Between 2017 and 2021
Once again, federal product safety officials are warning consumers to avoid magnetic toy sets, which, industry-wide, have been linked to seven deaths and more than 2,400 intestinal injuries among children who swallowed the high-powered magnets, which can attract across the digestive tract and cause life-threatening injuries.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued two safety alerts on December 14, warning consumers to immediately stop using Life Changing Products 216-piece Magnetic Ball sets sold by Life Changing Products Holdings LTD of China and TOCTOC Magnetic Ball sets sold by Shouguang Fujikawa Trading Co. of China.
CPSC testing has determined these latest magnetic ball sets do not comply with the requirements of mandatory federal toy regulations. They contain one or more magnets that fit within CPSC’s small parts cylinder, which means they can easily be swallowed by small children, and the magnets are stronger than permitted by federal requirements.
According to the warnings, the magnetic ball sets pose a serious safety risk to children and should be disposed of immediately.
Magnetic Toy Injury Risks
When high-powered magnets are ingested, they can attract each other, or other metal objects, and become lodged in the digestive tract. This can lead to intestinal perforations, twisting or blockage of the intestines, infection, blood poisoning, and death.
The CPSC indicates more than 2,400 magnet ingestions were treated in hospital emergency departments from 2017 through 2021. Seven deaths are linked to the ingestion of high-powered magnets, including two deaths that occurred outside the U.S.
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In 2021, the CPSC issued a mandatory recall for millions of Zen Magnets and Neoballs Magnets following years of legal proceedings, surgical injuries to children, and one death involving magnet ingestions.
Following the recall, federal regulators issued a safety warning that the magnetic toys often lead to injuries, including emergency surgical interventions and death. While regulators were able to force the recall for the Zen and Neoball brands, many other brands of similar high-powered magnets remain on the U.S. market.
A study published in 2022 indicated that warning labels placed on the separable high-powered magnet sets do not help to prevent children from swallowing the magnet or preventing other serious injuries. Many parents and caregivers don’t see the warning labels or don’t read the warning labels on the products, believing the magnets were simply a child’s toy and did not pose any danger.
That same year, the CPSC issued new safety standards that call for separable high-powered magnets to be too large for children to swallow or made with weaker magnets. The two new brands facing regulatory action violated both of those safety standards.
No Magnetic Toy Set Recalls Announced
The CPSC issued a Notice of Violation to both Life Changing Products and Shouguang Fujikawa Trading Co., but neither firm has agreed to recall the 216-piece magnetic ball sets or offer a remedy to consumers.
The commission urges consumers to stop using the magnetic ball sets immediately and dispose of them to prevent swallowing or injury to children.
The Life Changing Products 216-piece magnet sets are sold in the form of a cube in clear plastic wrapping. They are sold online at lcpshop.net for about $40.
The TOCTOC 216-piece sets are multi-colored and sold in the form of a cube encased in clear plastic wrapping with a portable tin storage box. The TOCTOC sets were sold online at Amazon for $20.
The CPSC calls for consumers to report any injuries involving the magnetic ball sets to www.SaferProducts.gov.
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