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On Parenting
Posted at 06:32 PM ET, 01/27/2012

Buckyballs magnets: An intestinal hazard for kids

Meredith DelPrete, 10, holds the type of magnet she accidentally swallowed. (Astrid Riecken - for TheWashington Post)
From elsewhere in The Post: For kids who want to pretend their lip or tongue is pierced, Buckyballs magnets have become a popular toy. The magnets are also an intestinal hazard. Several children, including Meredith DelPrete, have been hospitalized for accidentally swallowing the balls, reports The Post’s Lena Sun.

The magnets are 5 mm in diameter. Last week, DelPrete, a 10-year-old fifth grader in Fairfax County, placed one on her tongue and another on the underside. The balls made it appear as though she had a tongue stud. Once she opened her mouth to show a friend, the magnets rolled back.

“That accidental swallowing led to five days at Inova Fairfax Hospital, at least 10 X-rays, three CT scans and an endoscopy,” says Sun. Doctors say DelPrete was not seriously injured.

The manufacturer of Buckyballs and the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a voluntary recall of Buckyballs magnet sets in 2010 to update the labeling to restrict sale to age 14 and older, says Sun. The magnets can be found in toys and jewelry, and are also sold separately.

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By On Parenting  |  06:32 PM ET, 01/27/2012

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