Consumer Reports Advises Families With Small Children To Avoid Magnet Toys

Consumer Reports is advising families with small children to stay away from magnet toys and products for adults that have small, strong magnets.


Because babies don’t understand that eating a bunch of magnets will cause them to die, and it’s really hard to explain it to them. It’s probably easier to just not buy them.

From Consumer Reports:

Given the ongoing problems with these toys, and the potential for serious injury or death, we continue to recommend that parents avoid all magnetic toys if there are young children in their home. We also recommend caution when purchasing products made for adults that may contain strong magnets (such as those used on some bulletin boards). Many of these are small and colorful and could easily be swallowed by children.

Magnets can be, and have been, fatal to children who swallowed more than one. The magnets attract inside the body, and well, it’s just not pretty.

So if you do have very small children who are not yet at an age where they know what not to put in their mouths, you might want to stay away from magnets.

Latest toy recall raises additional concern over magnets [Consumer Reports]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Zgeg says:

    Already did.. My son lost it when we took away the magnetic fridge alphabet..

  2. boandmichele says:

    ive never heard of magnets being dangerous when ingested… does it affect your body’s iron or something?

  3. theres nothing wrong with swallowing a magnet. the problems arise when something else thats magnetic is either swallowed or comes into contact with the one in your intestines. it can cause ruptures, blockages..etc.

  4. North of 49 says:

    no. the two magnets connect together and if the two are in seperate organs, not nice things could happen to the child’s internals.

  5. miborovsky says:

    @boandmichele: No they puncture your intestinal lining when two magnets try to get together.

  6. Anitra says:

    @boandmichele: No, the problem is that two magnets will attract – even if there are body tissues in the way. They’ve been known to cause damage (including punctures) to the intestines.

  7. topgun says:

    But I love it when kids stick magnets on the plate in my skull.

  8. @boandmichele: they attract to one another from within the intestines, ripping through the intestinal walls like a gun shot wound.

    From the Chicago Tribune:

    What’s so insidious about a small-magnet injury is that initially it seems like a stomach bug. All of the parents interviewed for this report said they — and some of their doctors — thought their children had a stomach virus. Yet if kids injured by magnets don’t get surgery quickly enough, they can die.

    The threat of such injuries has soared in recent years. That’s because the magnets, made of neodymium iron boron, have become more affordable, popping up in all sorts of children’s toys, including dolls, building sets, action figures, puzzles and games. These magnets are exponentially more powerful than the larger, rubbery variety used for decades in refrigerator magnets.


    I can’t get the article link to work quite right, but it’s here:


    or google “Chicago Tribune magnets” — they did a big expose.

  9. missdona says:

    Are today’s kids the first to swallow magnets? I don’t remember any of this for all the time I’m living.

    How we made it through our childhood, I’ll never know.

  10. @missdona: See above. The magnets in use in toys today are stronger, smaller, and cheaper than in the past, which is why we have a fairly sudden “epidemic” of these problems.

  11. B says:

    @missdona: I don’t remember having a lot of magnet-related toys when I was a kid, at least when I was young enough to put them in my mouth.

  12. missdona says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:

    I didn’t see your post before mine. Apologies

  13. @missdona: I was surprised too when the Trib’s series ran, because I was like, “I had magnet toys when *I* was a kid …”

    But the whole thing is so horrifying, the descriptions of what happens to the kids who swallow them, and how LONG the companies knew about the problems without bothering to fix them …!

  14. BrockBrockman says:

    I’m almost surprised that I haven’t seen any “Parents are stupid and irresponsible for not constantly hovering over their kids and letting them swallow magnets” comments.

    That being said, I used to love playing with magnets as a kid, the stronger the better; you’re never too young to learn basic physics. But risking ripped intestines is certainly not worth it.

  15. EvilSquirrel says:

    It looks like the annual story on how magnets will kill your kids is here.

  16. Woofer00 says:

    @missdona: To add to what previous commenters have stated, the magnets of today don’t pose some risk that didn’t exist before. The problem is the proliferation and the enormous reduction in cost. Magnets used to cost enough to produce so that they remained part of high end toys and science kits. Now, it’s hard to find any toys made without magnets is some form or another, and manufacturers are hoping that Elmer’s glue will keep them in place while an unaware toddler munches on GI Joe’s newest magnet based missile launcher.

  17. paco says:

    @EvilSquirrel: The point is that we have cheapened everything to the point that our children–for those of us who have children–are endangered by things that might not have endangered us growing up.

  18. Kat says:

    I had a magnet toy when I was little – Princess Magic Touch (yikes, that sounds bad!) and I’m still alive! I also had the microscopic original Polly Pockets.

  19. rawsteak says:

    i dunno about you, but if your kid still puts things in his mouth, then your kid is probably too young for a batman toy.

    at least i never played with my ninja turtles like that… “shredder’s here! Quick guys hide in my mouf!!”

  20. Mom2Talavera says:

    well I’m fucked if littlest pet shop toys get recalled! My daughter has tons of LPS stuff. They have very tiny paw shaped magnets on each one.

    /Shes 5y
    // I wish those nice Haba & Selecta toys weren’t so