Magnets can be dangerous to children if swallowed. Regularly check that magnets are securely attached or embedded in the toy, and supervise young children when playing with magnetic toys.
About magnetic toys and novelties
Small, strong magnets are used to attach parts in many children’s toys, or to make toys magnetically stick to other play objects.
Risks and injuries
Magnets can be dangerous to children if swallowed, causing infections and other serious injuries. If a child puts a magnet in their mouth they can choke if the magnet lodges in their throat and blocks their windpipe.
If a child swallows a number of magnets, the magnets can lock together through the walls of the intestines and cause perforations and blockages. Urgent surgery is required to remove the magnets in order to avoid serious medical complications or death.
- Ensure toy magnets, like figures, letters or numbers, are too big to fit in a young child's mouth.
- Check that magnets are securely attached or embedded in the toy, and cannot come off easily.
- Check the size of the magnet on the back of the toy to make sure that if it came loose it wouldn't fit in a young child's mouth.
- Keep toys with strong magnets, or magnetic parts that are small enough to be swallowed, away from young children.
- Always watch an infant when they are playing with toys that have magnets, to ensure they do not go in the child’s mouth.
- Always dispose of toys if their magnets become loose.
- If you suspect a child has swallowed magnets, seek urgent medical assistance.