Science

Magnetic balls: watch out for young children!

Magnetic balls used in the composition of objects intended for adults as well as for children can prove to be extremely dangerous, warns the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES).

A risk of perforation of the intestinal walls

Some “anti-stress” items intended for adults include 3 to 5 mm magnetic beads. Two serious cases of ingestion of such beads by children aged three and under were recently reported to health authorities. Such incidents can lead to serious complications, according to ANSES. “The magnetic beads ingested can agglomerate, obstruct the digestive tract and tear the intestinal walls causing perforations “, explains the agency in a press release released on June 11, 2021. “The most serious cases require heavy surgery and can be life-threatening in children.“, she continues. In addition, the magnetic balls contained in some construction games for children can also be dangerous for the youngest.

Objects to keep out of the reach of the youngest

To avoid accidents, it is necessary to ensure that these objects, not suitable for young children, are out of their reach and scrupulously buy toys for their age. “The attention of parents and caregivers is called to the fact that anti-stress items intended for adults, construction toys intended for people over 14 years old and magnetic toys intended for older children (from 3 to 14 years old), can be very dangerous for the youngest children, if they are left within their reach and they inadvertently misuse“, insists ANSES. In the event of ingestion, it is recommended to immediately contact a poison control center or to call 15 or 112 in the event of a vital emergency.

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