While plain refrigerator magnets are good for holding up pictures, report cards, and other items to the fridge door, they are too large and bulky to be of use in most children’s toys and games. However, a special type of magnet, called rare earth magnets, has become much cheaper. This has allowed toy manufacturing companies to begin using these powerful devices in children’s Opblaasfiguurshop products.
Rare earth magnets are not particularly rare; they are actually made from naturally occurring elements that are part of the “rare earth” group. The elements that make up these magnets include neodymium and samarium-cobalt. Magnets from these materials were developed in the late 20th century for their incredible strength. These metals are 1.5 to 3 times stronger than regular refrigerator magnets, which means that they are still powerful even when cut into tiny sizes.
Now, rare earth magnets are getting cheaper, and this makes them available to many different industries, including toy manufacturing. Many children’s toys now use these magnets in everything from doll clothing to robot building kits. They attract so that toys can stick together yet still disassemble easily.
Frustratingly, however, when these magnets fall out of the product, kids can pick them up and ingest them. While one tiny magnet may pass through the digestive system smoothly, multiple magnets can attract each other while inside the intestines. The magnets can attract through walls of the intestines, which causes a multitude of problems.
Several health problems associated with ingesting these powerful devices include:
Magnets can rip through soft tissue, causing holes in the digestive organs. This can allow bacteria to leak out into the rest of the body, leading to deadly infections. An estimated 15 million children’s products have been recalled due to these dangers, and many parents are calling for stricter regulations regarding rare earth magnets in toys.
If your child has been injured due to a magnetic toy or other defective item, you should fight back against this terrible manufacturing negligence.