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Feds: Stop Selling Small Toy Magnets

Pose High Health Risk To Children

With a recent rise in reported cases of toddlers and children who accidentally swallowed high-powered toy magnets that can be deadly and cause life-threatening injuries, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reached an agreement with an estimated 10 retailers, including Amazon, Brookstone and Urban Outfitters, to stop selling these products due to the risks posed to children.

The CPSC also filed a suit against the maker of these dangerous, highpowered magnetic balls.

Gillibrand urged the CPSC to take a step further and approve a federal rule banning the sale of these dangerous, high-powered magnetic balls that can be formed into different shapes from the retail market. Last month, the senator called on the CPSC to ban the sale of these magnets from the retail market.

This year alone, there were at least 19 reported incidents of children who accidentally ingested these mag- nets, including four children in New York State.

“This is a good first step to help prevent these dangerous magnets from ending up in hands and mouths of children,” said Gillibrand. “Every parent wants to keep their child safe and this unsuspecting product has already caused too much harm and put too many children’s lives at grave risk. We must take further action to stop these dangerous toys from reaching any more homes and stores.”

Since 2010, there have been at least 43 incidents of children and toddlers who accidentally swallowed these magnets, according to the CPSC, with an increase in incidents each year. In 2005, a 20-month-old boy died after he swallowed nine magnets.

In March of this year, a 3-year-old girl in Oregon swallowed 37 highpowered Buckyballs magnets, which tore at least three holes in her lower intestines and another in her stomach.

When accidentally swallowed, these small “rare earth” or “neodymium” magnets can twist intestines, causing bowel ulcerations, intestinal damage, blood poisoning and even death.

The CPSC announced a voluntary recall in May 2010 of Buckyballs that were incorrectly marked for ages 13 and older, a violation of toy labeling standards. The packaging on Buckeyballs contains a warning for parents, but Gillibrand pointed out that these warnings are not reducing the number of incidents of children accidentally ingesting these products.

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