Toys containing small magnets, particularly Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets sold by Mega Brands, have caused dozens of serious injuries among children who swallowed the magnets.
At least 1,500 incidents of magnets separating from plastic toy parts have been reported, with one death, one aspiration and 27 intestinal injuries documented, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported.
The small but powerful magnets can, if swallowed, attach to each other and cause perforations or blockages in the gastrointestinal tract, a condition which can be fatal. The CPSC said surgery was necessary in all but one case reported to the agency.
If your child suffered a serious injury as a result of swallowing a magnet or toy part, you may want to contact a toy magnet attorney or a Magnetix attorney for a free case evaluation.
Some four million of the toy building sets, manufactured in China for Mega Brands America (the new owner of Rose Art Industries), were recalled by the company in 2006 and again in 2007. Material and design changes also were made to newer building sets manufactured for the Montreal-based company and sold after March 31, 2006. Yet many of the older sets remained on store shelves and in homes across the United States long after the recalls.
The magnets can come loose from their plastic casings, which are very colorful and can resemble candy. If ingested, the magnets can attract to each other and form clumps that cause blockages, or they can tear through tissue, causing bowel perforation and other injuries.
The CPSC said a 20-month-old boy died after swallowing magnets that twisted his small intestine and created a blockage. A five-year-old child aspirated magnets that had to be surgically removed from his lungs.
While the hazard was largely thought to be most prevalent among children younger than six, the CPSC reported at least 10 injuries among children between six and 11 years old.
The Magnetix building sets were sold at a number of large retail outlets, including Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us and A.C. Moore. The CPSC advised those who own the older sets to contact Mega Brands for a comparable replacement set. Mega Brands set up a Magnetix recall hotline, 1-800-779-7122.
Other products containing magnets and small parts can also pose health dangers for children. According to one report, Kipp Brothers recalled 800 sets of a toy called Mag Stix Magnetic Building toys. An eight-year-old girl reportedly swallowed magnets that came loose from the toy and required extensive surgery to remove the magnets and repair intestinal perforations.
Kline & Specter, PC, a Philadelphia-based law firm with some 30 attorneys, several of whom are also doctors, has had success litigating product liability lawsuits in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and nationwide. Contact a Magnetix lawyer or a magnet lawyer today.