Mega Brands is recalling 4 million Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets over concerns that children may ingest small magnets that can detach from the sets.
To date, CPSC and Mega Brands are aware of one death, one aspiration and 27 intestinal injuries. Emergency surgical intervention was needed in all but one case. At least 1,500 incidents of magnets separating from the building pieces have been reported.
The recalled sets contain over 250 plastic building pieces. Sets manufactured after March 31, 2006 bearing a warning about the magnets are not included in the recall.
The CPSC has also issued a general warning that small magnets are a serious health risk for children. Magnets have already been responsible for five CPSC recalls in the past year spanning over eight million items.
If two or more magnets, two or more magnet components, or a magnet and another metal object are swallowed separately, they can attract to one another through intestinal walls. When this happens, parents and physicians may think that the materials will pass through the child. But with magnets this is often not the case. The magnets become trapped in the body and can twist or pinch the intestine, causing holes, blockage and infection in the intestine or blood poisoning. All of which can lead to death.
If you think you may have an affected Magnetix set, contact Mega Brands at (800) 779-7122 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit their website. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER