AAP, other health groups warn of magnet set dangers
MelissaJenco, News Content Editor
The Academy and other groups are calling on federal authorities to pull high-powered
magnet sets from store shelves and create regulations due to the dangers they pose
They also are urging parents to keep these sets off their holiday shopping lists.
“High-powered magnets have caused unnecessary surgeries, debilitating injuries, irreversible
gastrointestinal damage and other lifelong health impacts in infants, children and
adolescents,” AAP President Fernando Stein, M.D., FAAP, said in a statement. “Pediatricians have been ringing an alarm bell about these dangerous magnets since
we first recognized the damage they cause, and we urge parents to avoid purchasing
them as gifts for children during the holiday season.”
These sets typically include several hundred tiny magnetic balls or cubes. If a child
swallows two or more magnets, they are strong enough to attract each other within
the body and cause serious damage to internal organs or death.
Last month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an order halting the sale of sets from Zen Magnets saying they are a “substantial product
hazard” and that package warnings are not sufficient to protect children.
The Academy is one of seven health, safety and consumer groups that sent a letter to the CPSC today applauding its decision. However, other sets still are being sold and litigation
is pending. In their letter, the groups urged the commission to create safety standards
for rare-earth magnet sets and to stop the sale of such sets in the interim.
“We cannot allow these life-threatening magnets to find their way back into the hands
of children,” James Heubi, M.D., president of the North American Society for Pediatric
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, said in a statement. “… We applaud CPSC
for taking steps to pull Zen Magnets off the market and urge them to do all they can
to keep these and other equally dangerous magnet products off store shelves once and