Dangerous Toys – Magnets That Can Be Swallowed by Children – Product Liability & Child Care Provider Liability

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is again warning parents and caregivers about the the danger of child injuries caused by magnets in toys.

When a child swallows one magnet the health consequences may be negligible, but swallowing two or more can be fatal. This PSA explains why –

Since 2008 a federal safety standard prohibits magnets and magnet components that are loose and of a size that could be swallowed to be in toys for children under 14 years of age.

There have been product liability lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of toys that sell products containing magnets that can fall out and end up swallowed by a child.

In 2008 Rose Art Industries settled a lawsuit over its “Magnetix” toy after magnets from it caused personal injuries to a 4-year-old boy. The child had swallowed magnets from the toy that lodged in his intestines. The magnets damaged the boys digestive system and he now suffers from persistent constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain and must eat a special diet.

Also in 2008, MEGA Brands recalled 1.3 million MagnaMan Magnetic Toy Figures because the toys had small magnets that can come off and be swallowed by children.

The most recent warning from the Consumer Product Safety Commission alerts caregivers to the dangers posed by so-called “desktoys” – toys designed for adults to keep on a desk top. Two such toys are Nanospheres and Buckyballs. When caregivers ignore labels which warn to keep these toys away from children, tragedy can strike. Toddlers can pick them up from tables, sofas, and the floor and swallow them. Severe injuries can result.

Child care providers who fail to keep these types of toys away from children may be liable for any personal injuries that result. Day cares, schools, camps, and others should not allow these toys to be present on the premises. Child care providers have a legal duty to keep dangerous toys away from the children for whom they are responsible. School officials also have a duty to prevent tweens and teens from bringing toys containing magnets to school and sharing them with friends.

With tweens and teenagers, the danger may involve how the product is being used – some children have unintentionally inhaled and swallowed magnets when using them to mimic body piercings. These older children are placing two or more magnets on opposite sides of their ear lobes, tongue and nose – sometimes resulting in ingestion or inhalation of the magnets and injuries. School officials have a duty to be vigilant about preventing children from bringing such magnetic toys with them to school.

If your child has suffered injuries as a result of one of these toys and you feel the product manufacturer or a child care provider/school officials has been negligent, you should speak with an attorney about the possibility of bringing a legal claim.

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