Magnetic balls: health authorities warn about the risks of ingestion by children

Magnetic balls health authorities warn about the risks of ingestion

  • News
  • Posted on 06/15/2021

    2 min read

    Health authorities are alerting parents and caregivers of young children to the risks of ingesting magnetic beads.

    Repeated accidents

    The Directorate General for Health (DGS), the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), Public Health France and the National Agency for Food Safety and the Environment and labor (ANSES) warn of the dangers associated with the risk of ingestion of magnetic beads. These health authorities indicate that “two serious cases of accidental ingestion of 3 to 5 mm magnet balls have been reported recently”By children 3 years of age or younger. These magnetic balls can come from “anti-stress” objects intended for adults, from office gadgets, but also from certain construction and assembly games.

    Consequences that can be major

    Once ingested, these magnetic beads can clump together, block the digestive tract and tear the intestinal walls causing perforations. The health authorities specify that they are “more dangerous than inert objects of the same dimensions (glass balls, coins)”Since, mechanically, they cause major damage in the intestinal tract of the person who ingested them. In the most serious cases, heavy surgeries are necessary and can be life threatening in children.

    Marbles to keep out of the reach of children

    The health authorities call for the vigilance of parents and adults in charge of their surveillance: “Objects containing magnetic marbles should be strictly kept out of the reach of children, who could in particular mistake them for candy and swallow them.”They indicate. Parents are also advised to stay close to their children when playing with games containing magnetic elements and to explain their proper use and, if applicable, the dangers associated with their ingestion.

    What behavior to adopt in the event of ingestion of magnetic beads?

    In case of ingestion of magnetic beads or even in case of doubt of ingestion of these beads, you will have to call as soon as possible a poison control center which will give you the action to take. You will find the contact details of these centers by following this link: . In any case, in a life-threatening emergency, dial 15 or 112.