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Case Reports in Pediatrics
Volume 2014, Article ID 908730, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/908730
Case Report

Troubling Toys: Rare-Earth Magnet Ingestion in Children Causing Bowel Perforations

Department of Pediatric Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, P.O. Box 3050 Doha, Qatar

Received 27 January 2014; Accepted 22 April 2014; Published 30 April 2014

Academic Editor: Vjekoslav Krzelj

Copyright © 2014 Parkash Mandhan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Ingestion of foreign bodies in the pediatric population is common and magnet ingestion is known to cause a significant morbidity. Rare-earth magnets are small 3–6 mm diameter spherical powerful magnets that are sold as popular desk toys for adults and were previously found in construction toys in attractive colors for children to play with. We describe 2 young healthy children who ingested rare-earth magnets Buckyballs while playing with these magnetic toys and later presented in emergency with acute abdomen. Abdominal imaging revealed several (26 and 5) pieces of rare-earth magnets in the bowel loops. Emergency surgical exploration revealed multiple gastrointestinal perforations and fistula formation at sites of bowel entrapment in between strong magnets apposed to one another. We highlight the potential dangers of rare-earth magnets in children and suggest increasing public awareness about risks involved in rare-earth magnets ingestion by children to overcome this serious public health issue.