On Thanksgiving day 2002, 21 month old Kenny died after swallowing loose magnets from his brother’s Magnetix set. Kenny fell ill with flu-like symptoms which prompted a visit to the emergency room. Within a few hours, Kenny’s heart stopped and his left lung had collapsed. The coroner told Kenny’s family he had swallowed 8 magnets, which blocked his intestine and released poisonous chemicals into his body.
Kenny would have been 16 years-old this month. This post is in the memory of Kenny and to highlight the dangers of magnet sets. After Kenny’s death, toy standards were strengthened to prevent loose magnets in toys such as those in Magnetix. Later, high powered magnets sets sold as desk sets were banned by the CPSC. However, they continue to pose a serious threat to children.
“Magnets pose a special hazard to children. Not only is it difficult to know if a child has swallowed magnets, most caregivers have no awareness of the extent of the possible damage and might not know to immediately seek medical attention,” Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids in Danger said.
KID continues working to remove dangerous toys from store shelves and advocating for stronger standards to keep children safe.
Use the hashtag #FamilyVoicesFriday to share Kenny’s story and bring awareness to the dangers of magnets to small children.
To report an unsafe product, please visit SaferProducts.gov.
To check for product recalls, please visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/