Dangerous magnets return to the market

by | Apr 17, 2020 | products liability

Louisiana children may be drawn to the shiny, brightly-colored balls that make up an array of magnetic objects sold as desk accessories or stress relievers. However, while they may want to play with the attractive magnets, they could face severe risks as a result. These small, rare-earth magnets are exceptionally strong, with an attractive pull 30 times stronger than that of standard home magnets. Despite their small size, the strength of their magnetic field can make them difficult to pull apart. Of course, while this can be entertaining when playing with the magnets, it can also be devastating if it happens inside the body. You may be very concerned about the risks to your children if they encounter these items in a friend’s or family member’s home.

Risks of rare-earth magnets for children

Children can easily swallow the small magnets. Inside the stomach and intestines, they can pull together, tearing the lining of the intestines and causing dangerous adhesions and tears that can even threaten a child’s life. Because of the severe risk associated with these magnets and their appeal to children, they were banned from the market in 2014 as dangerous items that posed a danger to kids. However, in 2016, a panel of federal judges overturned the ban, allowing companies to market the items once again as adult accessories.

Dangerous items back on the market

However, their often-colorful, shiny designs and ball-like shape are attractive to many kids. Even though the magnets may not say “toy” on the label, kids appear to be playing with them and facing serious risks. The return of these magnets to the market has come with an upswing in hospital visits. In 2019 alone, there were 1,666 incidents in which kids were taken to the emergency room for ingesting the small magnets.

When companies bring dangerous products to the market, they may be held responsible for the foreseeable harm caused by those items, even if they operate according to the manufacturer’s specifications. If your children were injured by a dangerous toy, you may consult with an attorney about filing a personal injury lawsuit against the makers of these products.