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UC Davis Warns Of Rise In Magnet Ingestion

Local health experts are warning parents of a rise in children swallowing magnetic toys.

UC Davis Health officials say a higher number of kids are being sent to the ER after ingesting tiny rare-earth magnets. The magnets can damage or tear intestinal walls when the two sides are pulled together inside the stomach. From 2018 to 2019, a study by the National Poison Data System shows a nearly 450% increase in magnet-related injuries. The NPDS suggests the spike may be due to magnetic toys recently getting the legal permission to be sold in stores again. In an interview with the Sac Bee, one UC Davis health expert says they receive roughly one of these cases each month.

The magnets, noted to replicate tiny, candy-colored metal-like balls, are often marketed to adults as a desk toy they can play with to reduce stress.

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