Magnet Balls Recalled Over Ingestion Hazards; Incidents Reported

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Magnetic Balls
Pictured: Representative image of magnet balls.

A company is recalling its magnetic ball sets due to the hazard they pose if ingested. There have so far been reports of incidents in which children needed surgery to get rid of the magnets.

The recalled DigitDots Magnetic Balls come in sets of hundreds of loose, tiny magnetic rare-earth magnet balls "with a strong magnetic flux," the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) noted in the recall alert. The problem is that if children swallow two or more high-powered magnets, whether intentionally or accidentally, the items can cause problems in the digestive system, particularly if the magnets get attracted to each other or some other metal object.

As the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) explained, swallowing a single magnet could cause the magnet to get lodged in the throat, lungs or esophagus and cause choking, difficulty breathing or damage to the area. However, swallowing two or more magnets or a piece of metal along with the magnet poses a "much greater danger" because the magnetic attraction can cause the bowel walls to be pinned together, causing a blockage or tearing in the bowel.

"This can result in perforations, twisting and/or blockage of the intestines, infection, blood poisoning and death," the CPSC noted.

HD Premier, the product's importer, knows of four children who ingested the DigitDots magnets and had to have surgery in order to remove them. The CPSC also noted other similar cases involving children and teens swallowing other companies' high-powered magnets, two of which resulted in death.

As such, consumers are being advised to stop using the units affected by the recall and to keep them away from children. Instead, they should contact HD Premier to get a pre-paid label to return the products and get a refund whether via their original payment method or PayPal.

The recall affects the DigitDots Magnetic Balls in 3- and 5-millimeter sizes. The 3-millimeter size magnets were sold in sets of 512 loose, multi-colored magnetic balls, while the 5-millimeter size magnets were sold in sets of either 222 silver magnetic balls or 224 multi-colored magnetic balls.

The recalled products were sold online via the company website, Amazon.com and other online platforms from March 2019 to January 2022. About 119,620 units are affected by the recall.

"All genuine 3mm and 5mm DigitDots Magnetic Ball have been recalled and are no longer for sale," the company noted.

Consumers may learn more about the refund details on the company website. The form that can be filled out by those who wish to participate in the recall can be found here. People who cannot access the form may also send the required details, which are mentioned on the website, to hey@ilovedigitdots.com.

According to the ACMT, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has previously warned of the "unique hazard" regarding magnets and recommended that young children below six years old shouldn't have access to such items.

If a child has swallowed a magnet, it's important to take them to a health care facility or call the poison control center.

"Do not try to induce vomiting or give food or drink," the ACMT noted. "If the child is experiencing breathing problems call 911."


Magnetic Balls

Photo: Pixabay-Meredin

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