Girl recovering after swallowing dozens of magnets

March 5, 2012 9:21:16 AM PST
A 3-year-old girl from Portland, Oregon, is recovering after swallowing three dozen magnets.

Payton Bushnell had complained of a stomach ache. When her parents took her to the hospital, doctors were shocked after seeing her x-rays. They determined that Payton had swallowed 37 high powered magnets.

Her parents think she may have eaten the magnets because they resemble decorations she puts on cookies.

The magnets were so strong they had torn three holes in the child's lower intestine and one in her stomach.

"If we had any idea what they could have done to her intestines, we would have never had them in our house," said Kelli Bushnell.

Doctors performed emergency surgery. They say Payton is now on her way to making a full recovery.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports 22 cases of children swallowing magnets since 2009.

Doctors say magnet ingestion may be misdiagnosed. They urge parents to pay close attention and to any non-specific abdominal symptoms, such as pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.