Tips to protect kids & teens from swallowing small magnets - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tips to protect kids & teens from swallowing small magnets

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(CBS 8) - Doctors at Rady Children's Hospital are warning parents tonight about small, round magnets called "Buckyballs" that can be dangerous to children of all ages. "Buckyballs" may be a popular desk-top toy for adults but doctors are warning parents to keep them away from their kids.

If you've got an office job and sit at a desk all day "Buckyballs" may seem like a innocent way for adults to pass the time. The problem is the balls are so much fun, they're a magnet for kids as well.

Get your hands on some Buckyballs and you'll see that crafting endless formations can be addicting and stress relieving, unless you're a doctor.

Dr. Timothy Fairbanks says a 12-year old San Diego child was recently admitted to the hospital after ingesting small magnets.

If the magnets are swallowed in one clump they can generally be passed naturally but when they're ingested separately they can create a kinks in intestinal system. A problem like that can lead to painful surgery and even death.

So although Buckyballs are advertised as the "Toy of the Year" for under thirty dollars, doctors say buyer beware.

Both on the Buckyball website and on the canisters they come in there's a clear warning for parents to keep these away from their kids along with warning to see a doctor immediately if they're swallowed.

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