Consumer Reports: Magnetic toy danger

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Strong magnet sets that have been banned since 2014 caused many life threatening injuries, especially among children and teens. (WLS)

Strong magnet sets that have been banned since 2014 caused many life threatening injuries, especially among children and teens.

A federal court has overturned the ban and they are back on the market. Consumer Reports has what you need to know to keep your children safe.

Back in 2012, when Braylon Jordan was almost 2 years old, he swallowed eight tiny magnets. Their powerful force perforated his intestine, most of which had to be surgically removed. He still gets nearly all of his nutrition intravenously.

Braylon was just one of the thousands of people who ended up in the emergency room with magnet injuries before the ban.

Dr. Adam Noel, one of Braylon's doctors, said in his experience the ban dramatically lowered the number of magnetic ball injuries.

"We see the injuries very rare right now, maybe one or two cases a year," Noel said.

But recently, prompted by a petition filed by Zen Magnets, a panel of Federal judges voted 2 to 1 to rescind the ban, which means the magnets can legally be sold again.
Consumer Reports Health Editor Ellen Kunes said the magnets can still be dangerous.

"These magnets are so strong that if they are swallowed, they can pull together with enough force to punch holes along different sections of the digestive system," Kunes said.

The founder of Zen magnets maintains they are "perfectly safe when properly used." There are also warnings about possible injuries on the website and in the packaging.
But Consumer Reports urges parents to use extreme caution.

"We recommend that you avoid having these magnet sets if there are any children in the home," Kunes said.

Braylon is a happy first grader now, but has serious medical issues he'll have to deal with for the rest of his life.

Another warning from Consumer Reports: if you had strong magnet sets in the past look for and throw away any magnets that might have gotten loose in your house to protect your children and teens.

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2016. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not for profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org
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