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AAP and CPSC: New Safety Warnings for Magnets

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has asked the maker of Zen Magnets to stop producing its small but powerful magnets that they say are a danger to kids. If ingested by a child, the magnets, which are meant as a stress relief product for adult use, can attract each other so powerfully that they pinch internal tissues, resulting in infection or even death. Eleven other manufacturers have already taken similar products off the market. 

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The CPSC had earlier asked the maker of similar product Buckyballs, which the CPSC says have caused more than two dozen injuries in kids since the product was introduced in 2009, to also remove their product from shelves. The company has been fighting back with an online “Save Our Balls” campaign.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is also calling for the removal of these products, and urging parents to keep them far from kids. According to “Recent anecdotal reports have shown that magnet ingestions have led to dozens of surgeries, bowel perforations or fistulas, endoscopies, bowel resections, and other serious gastrointestinal injuries.” Unfortunately, the symptoms of magnet ingestion—abdominal pain, vomiting, and fever—are the same as a stomach bug, so it’s difficult to diagnose.

Do you think this product should be taken off shelves? Or is the CPSC going too far? Leave a comment.