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Magnetic office toys could cause serious injuries to children

Louisiana parents know that they need to protect their children from dangerous objects, such as knives, glass and heavy weights. While it is clear that these things could serious injure or kill a child, it may surprise many people in Lake Charles that the small, ball bearing magnets that many people have as toys are dangerous products, especially to children.

The federal government recently warned parents that what seemed like a harmless toy can actually cause serious damage if swallowed. The toys are typically sold as high-powered magnetic balls that can be shaped into different patterns, designs or objects. While they may seem safe enough, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that there have been 14 cases of children injured since the beginning of the year, double the number of incidents reported in 2010. Of the 14 children with injuries, 11 needed surgery to remove the magnets and correct any internal damage.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, children as young as 18 months and as old as 15 years have been injured by the magnets. Among teenagers, the most common cause of injury is when a teen uses the ball bearings as a tongue “piercing,” placing one magnet on either side of the tongue. Some teens have then accidentally swallowed the high-powered magnets.

When two or more magnets are swallowed, the magnets will attract one another and eventually connect. This can cause holes in the lining of the stomach or intestines, blood poisoning and intestinal blockage.

If you are concerned that your child has swallowed these magnets, look for the signs and symptoms of the flu or a cold. Ask your doctor to take an X-ray and contact a products liability attorney immediately to explore your legal options.

Source: USA Today, “Government warns of risk with high-powered magnets,” Nov. 11, 2011

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