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AAP: Ingestion of 'Super' Magnets by Children Increasing

AAP: Ingestion of 'Super' Magnets by Children Increasing

Ingestion has spiked in the last three years

TUESDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The ingestion of "super" magnets by children has increased over the last decade, particularly in the last three years, according to a case series presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held from Oct. 26 to 29 in Orlando, Fla.

Daniel Rosenfield, M.D., from the University of Toronto, reviewed over 2,700 cases of foreign body ingestions in the alimentary tract among children up to 18 years old at his institution from 2001 to 2012. He sought to identify cases where super magnets were ingested. These small, powerful neodymium-iron-boron magnets became popular over the last decade and are found in children's toys, in jewelry, and as novelty items such as desk toys.

Rosenfield found that 94 ingestions involved magnets. The first occurred in 2004, with increasing numbers of single and multiple magnet ingestions over time, particularly in the last three years. The mean age of the children was 4.5 years, and 65 percent were boys. There were no deaths reported.

The research "confirms what we've suspected -- that the ingestion of these dangerous toys has been increasing, and spiking over the past three years," Rosenfield said in a statement. "What we're seeing is really an epidemic driven by a new technology. These new magnets are vastly more powerful, smaller in size, and seem innocuous. Parents just aren't aware of the potential danger."

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