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AAP, other health groups warn of magnet set dangers :

November 27, 2017

The Academy and other groups are calling on federal authorities to pull high-powered magnet sets from store shelves and create regulations due to the dangers they pose to children.

They also are urging parents to keep these sets off their holiday shopping lists.

“High-powered magnets have caused unnecessary surgeries, debilitating injuries, irreversible gastrointestinal damage and other lifelong health impacts in infants, children and adolescents,” AAP President Fernando Stein, M.D., FAAP, said in a statement. “Pediatricians have been ringing an alarm bell about these dangerous magnets since we first recognized the damage they cause, and we urge parents to avoid purchasing them as gifts for children during the holiday season.”

These sets typically include several hundred tiny magnetic balls or cubes. If a child swallows two or more magnets, they are strong enough to attract each other within the body and cause serious damage to internal organs or death.

Last month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an order halting the sale of sets from Zen Magnets saying they are a “substantial product hazard” and that package warnings are not sufficient to protect children.

The Academy is one of seven health, safety and consumer groups that sent a letter to the CPSC today applauding its decision. However, other sets still are being sold and litigation is pending. In their letter, the groups urged the commission to create safety standards for rare-earth magnet sets and to stop the sale of such sets in the interim.

“We cannot allow these life-threatening magnets to find their way back into the hands of children,” James Heubi, M.D., president of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, said in a statement. “… We applaud CPSC for taking steps to pull Zen Magnets off the market and urge them to do all they can to keep these and other equally dangerous magnet products off store shelves once and for all.”

Parents should report injuries related to high-powered magnets at

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