Tiny but powerful – super strong magnets wreak havoc inside children’s bodies

By Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive, Child Accident Prevention Trust 

There has been an alarming rise in children swallowing tiny super strong magnets, with potentially life-threatening consequences. Just last month, the media reported how a 9-year-old boy from Stirling underwent emergency surgery to remove a string of magnets from his bowel.   

Shockingly, some super strength magnets sold on online marketplaces can be up to ten times stronger than the law allows. If a child swallows them, they effectively burn through their gut by pinching together inside the body. 

Many parents simply aren’t aware how dangerous these super strong magnets can be, and just how many might be hiding around their homes. Yet they can be found in everyday items such as jewellery, children’s toys and even fridge magnets. Often small and shiny, they can easily find their way into a young child’s mouth by accident.

That’s why the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) are working with the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons to raise awareness of the dangers of super strong magnets. 

You can help to spread the word by sharing CAPT’s advice with the families you work with to help keep children safe.  

Visit the magnet safety hub on the CAPT website where you’ll find safety advice, case studies, guidance on what to look out for and downloadable leaflets and posters.

Connect with CAPT on Facebook and Twitter and share our posts with your followers.

By sharing these resources during face-to face contact, group sessions or on social media, together we can help as many families as possible to understand the dangers of super strong magnets and stop more children suffering serious injuries. 

Everything you need to know about magnet safety

Cross Party Group
See our presentation on magnets to the June meeting of the Scottish Government’s Cross Party Group on Accident Prevention and Safety Awareness