Warning over tiny toys after girl, four, has emergency surgery

Parents are being warned of the danger lurking in some toys after a girl had to be rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.

Hayley Thakes says her four-year-old daughter had to have bowel surgery, and she wants to avoid the same thing ha[pening to others.

Hayley says her daughter swallowed two tiny ball magnets, the Manchester Evening News reports.

In a Facebook post she said: “Not a post I ever thought I’d write. But I want to warn other parents of the dangers of magnets.

Two small magnetic beads which were swallowed by the girl (Image: Hayley Thake/MEN MEDIA)

“I’m sure there have been other posts but sadly I never saw one.

“I will never forgive myself for buying them but my four-year-old daughter accidentally swallowed two of these magnet balls.

“She’s just undergone surgery to remove them from her bowel.

“Once inside the body the magnets connect to each other with the organ tissue / lining being pinched in between, eventually burning a hole in it. Luckily my daughter told me she had swallowed them so were able to act quickly.

“Please please I urge all parents if you have these magnet beads throw them away immediately. Currently in the ward we are on there is a two-year-old who swallowed 14 of them. The consultant said they have so many cases and they should be banned.”

Warning over tiny toys after girl, four, has emergency surgery 1

X-ray image from a different child who was X-rayed at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (Image: MEN MEDIA)

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) said: “The magnets stick together internally and through organs and tissues, and can cut off blood supply causing tissue to die. They are much more complex than button batteries to extract.

Photos from mum Hayley Thake's Facebook post about her daughter swallowing magnets

Photos from mum Hayley Thake’s Facebook post about her daughter swallowing magnets (Image: Hayley Thake/MEN MEDIA)

“The child will need emergency surgery, then, depending on the severity of the injuries, they may need numerous operations, bowel resection and time in paediatric intensive care.

“It’s our understanding that the magnets should be covered by toy safety standards. And magnetic toys made by reputable manufacturers have complied for many years.

“However, it’s very easy to buy these dangerous magnetic toys online, with no guarantees they are safe.”

Last year the Trust highlighted the case of another child, three-year-old Tomas Quinn, from Northern Ireland, who had part of his intestine removed after swallowing magnets.

Suzanne Lawther, a consultant in paediatric surgery at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, which has dealt with numerous similar cases, said: “They [the magnetic ball toys] are about 10 times stronger than traditional magnets and if the magnets end up on either side of a piece of the digestive tract, the magnetic force is so strong that it actually interferes with the blood supply.

“They can cause that bit of bowel to die and ultimately to develop a hole or sometimes abnormal connections between different parts of the bowel, which left untreated can make children and adults very unwell and be potentially life-threatening.”

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