Children in Kentucky and across the country faced threats of injury from small and extremely strong magnets when they hit the toy market several years ago. Several children were hospitalized, and the magnet toys were banned as a result. The small balls can be swallowed. Once inside the digestive system, they can pull together and cause injuries severe enough to threaten lives and require surgery. With their small size and intense strength, the danger of these objects can be far greater than those of typical magnets. These rare-earth magnets are around 30 times stronger than the traditional magnets people often use on refrigerators.
With a larger magnetic field and intense properties of attraction, they can be challenging to separate, leading to serious internal injuries and breaks in the lining of the intestinal tract. While a 2014 ban kept the dangerous products off the market, a 2016 ruling by a panel of federal judges lifted it. Companies said that the magnets were not for children but were instead stress-relief products and desk accessories for working adults that should be kept away from small kids. However, children are still finding the magnets, and they are still suffering serious injuries as a result.
In 2019 alone, there were 1,666 cases of small, rare-earth magnets ingested by children. The small magnets are often shiny, colorful balls, the type of design that can be highly appealing to kids, even if they are marketed as desk accessories. They can easily find their way to a location where children might find them.
In some cases, the manufacturers of defective or dangerous products can be held accountable for the harm caused by the goods they produce. People who have suffered an injury due to a dangerous toy or other product may consult with an attorney about a products liability lawsuit.