The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Mega Brands America have recalled more than 4 million units of Magnetix Magnetic building sets after one death and 27 intestinal injuries were reported after small children swallowed loose parts, according to an article posted on the Watchdog Website.
Not included in this recall are the company’s products sold since March 31, 2006 that are labeled 6+ and sets that contain the warning: “CAUTION: Do not ingest or inhale magnets. Attraction of magnets in the body may cause serious injury and require immediate medical care.”
Several children were reportedly seriously injured before the company launched the recall. 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. Although the hazard was initially thought to be a problem primarily for children younger than six, it has since been learned that at least 10 injuries involved children between the ages of 6 and 11.
If a child swallows more than one tiny powerful magnet detached from the plastic building pieces or one such magnet and a metallic object, the objects can attract to each other inside the intestines and cause perforations and/or blockage, which can be fatal, if not treated immediately, according to CPSC reports. The agency is deeply concerned about the dangers that small, powerful magnets can pose to children if swallowed, said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord.
According to the agency, these older sets, which were manufactured in China, contain up to 250 plastic building pieces and 1/2-inch diameter steel balls. The building pieces include 1 1/2-inch squares, 1-inch triangles, cylinder rods, flexors, connectors, x-tenders, and curves and come in an assortment of colors such as metallic, primary, translucent, and glow in the dark. Mass merchants and other toy and arts and crafts stores sold the sets nationwide for between $20 and $60, depending on the size of the set.
CPSC officials urge consumers to immediately stop using the recalled magnetic sets and contact Mega Brands for a comparable replacement toy. If consumers are uncertain as to whether their product is being recalled, they can contact Mega Brands at (800) 779-7122 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit Mega Brands Website. The CPSC is urging consumers to immediately report any incidents of loose magnets to the CPSC Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or to the CPSC Website.