What Happens If You Swallow a Magnet? (6 Ways To Get Rid of Magent)

what happens if you swallow a magnet

In November 2016, the bane of a powerful rare earth magnet was ended. Now, these adult toys are available on the market without safety measures regulated by CPSC. Their re-entry increases swallowing accidents six-time greater than in the past. If somebody never heard about these power magnets and their dangerous impact may ask.

What happens if you swallow a magnet?

Building sets of tiny, strong magnets are often swallowed by young children. A single magnet is inert but more than two result in serious injury and even death. These magnets stick to each other even in the fold of the intestine; these pinch off the blood supply of tissue and result in tissue death, bleeding, and perforation.

How fatal is it? Can a small kid survive after its ingestion? What will be the complication after treatment or surgery? Let’s discuss all the points in detail.  

What Happens If You Swallow a Magnet

Babies and toddlers have a natural curiosity about things around them. They are too young to know about safety. They often put magnets or toys with magnets in their mouth without knowing how riskiest these may be. Older children and young people may also have a chance to engulf a magnet. What is a possible outcome of this swallowing of magnet? Let’s discuss

Swallowing of magent has no symptoms of physical discomfort or distress for a very long time. Sometimes signs of vomiting nausea and abdominal pain occur for six to seven days. When a parent knows about the condition. It is too late.

If a person tells you that he swallowed a magnet by mistake, never wait for bad symptoms to appear. Consult the physician for the proper solution.   

What Happens If You Swallow a Magnet Ball

The magnetic balls look very beautiful, shiny, and colorful just like candies. Children often put these balls to taste but they slip into the food tube and enter the stomach. Babies younger than 3 could not explain what happens. These rounded magnets are 10 times stronger than the ordinary magnet.

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A single ball of magent is inert and rounded and it will pass in the digestive tract without any hindrance. The time of expelling depends on how active your digestive system is. Check his feces and tell the doctor if it is not removed within a week. 

What Happens If Your Child Eat A Magnet

Magnet toy sets are not only in bright colors but also interesting in making different shapes and models with them. During play, they sometimes put the magnetic toy in their mouth.

 Magnets can damage the GI tract and can twist the intestines. This swallowing produces ulceration, intestinal damage, perforation, blood poisoning, or even death.    

If a child ingests more than one magnet it is more dangerous or life-threatening. suppose if one magnet is blocked in the colon and the other is stuck in the intestine, those magnets can attach through bowel walls. These can potentially cut off the blood supply. This can tear and a hole in the intestine is formed. 

This leakage puts the child in extreme pain and severe infection. Take your child to the emergency immediately.

Difference Between Normal Magent and Neodymium Magnet

Magnet evolved tremendously in the previous 25 years.  Neodymium-iron-boron magnet is a special type of rare-earth magnet created during the early 1980s and is 10 to 20 times stronger than traditional ferrite magnets. So the difference lies in their main structure and also in their strength. 

These are now widely used in decoration pieces, jewellery sets, desk toys, children’s construction sets, etc. These are easily available on the net and widely spread. For this reason, their prices decrease but improve their quality.    

What To Do If You Swallow a Magnet: 6 Ways to Get Rid of

Swallowing of a single magent is treated just like other cases of foreign body ingestion with slightly more care. Normal magent is weak in strength, larger in size and shape maybe with sharp or blunt edges. While neodymium is smaller in size but more powerful with iron-boron technology.

 Following are some ways that are helpful to come out of this situation.

  1. Plain Radigrapgh explains the location, size, and shape of an object.
  1. If magnets are larger in number but mobile, they combine and release from the body in a few days. Polyethene 3350 is given to patients for easy removal.
  1. If magnets are not moving and joined to others and anchored across a loop of bowel. Risk of blockage or perforation increases.
  1. In such cases endoscopy is recommended for retrieval of the magnet. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy if magnet stuck in the anterior part of GI Tract. Colonoscopy or Enteroscopy used depends upon the location of the magnet. Sometimes endoscopy is not successful now the final solution is surgery.
  1. During perforation or blockage surgery not only terminates the magnet accurately but also examines the internal body thoroughly.
  1. Some naughty children stuck the magnet in their noses or ears. Immediately reach the emergency centre because there is a risk that these migrate from the nose to the lungs and respiratory tract. This causes choking which may lead to death.  
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What Happens If You Swallow a Neodymium Magnet

A neodymium magnet has stronger attractive power than a normal magnet. Its swallowing is more dangerous especially if ingested in large numbers.

 This magnet can reposition itself in the intestines. It is capable of finding another magnet or piece of metal through up to six layers along the bowel wall. This will be leading to serious results such as ulceration, puncture of the Intestinal wall, fistulae, volvulus, obstruction, and peritonitis.

Many toys have this type of magnet. So be careful and keep it away from young children.  

What Happens If You Swallow Magnet Balls

Swallowing of a single ball is like other foreign body ingestion is harmless and in 80%cases comes out of the stomach and intestine without any change. This proves stomach acids could not digest magnets. If somebody engulfs more than one magnetic ball it will create an emergency.

What Would Happen If You Swallow a Small Magnet

Small and single magnets will pass out from the GI tract easily. But its shape should not be pointed or rough. Shape or irregular surfaces may hurt the esophagus and delicate the intestinal wall. Care is better than cure. Avoid magnetic toys and jewellery. Don’t bring them home.

Sometimes magent enter in trachea this causes the choking problem. Difficulty in breathing occurs or the person will faint. 

If Neodymium Is Dangerous, Why they Still Exist In the Market

Why is this dangerous magnet never removed from the market? There is a story of a long judicial struggle behind the presence of a strong iron-boron magnet.

CPSC realizes its dangerous aspect, especially in building sets because they can easily lose to making new shapes. These separate magnetic items are the main cause of babies’ injuries. CPSC  created voluntary safety standards in 2007 and asked companies to attach magnets permanently so that toddlers can not separate them.

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CPSC requests to sell this strong magnet for adults 14 years or above. This label could not reduce accidents. In 2011, CPSC began issuing a public warning of hidden hazards of these building sets. They negotiate with ten leading companies and order them to stop import and distribution of this item. Three companies refuse to cave and continue their sale. Two companies after some time come to a settlement and stop their manufacturing. But Zen Magnet persisted and was the last company to stand against CPSC. They finally won the case in March 2016 and these magnet toy sets came back on the market legally with full power.

After this decision injuries also came back but in a worse situation. Now in 2019, 1600 children have swallowed this dangerous item, 6 times (216 cases) greater than in 2016. 

Frequently Asked Question

What Are The Symptoms of Swallowing Magnets?

Parents and caregivers should be fully aware of his symptoms of ingestion of magnets. These will give them a clue about what item the child is swallowing.  These symptoms are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling 
  • Gagging
  • Refuse to eat anything
  • Uneven breathing
  • High fever

Will a Magnet Show on The X-Ray?

Radiograph which is a type of X-ray procedure could not show the exact number of magent in the attached condition. It shows multiple magnets in a single material. The exact count of the magnet in confirmation is necessary. If count is doubted or two or more magnets are identified surgery will be the last option.

Bottom Lines

Some toys or ornaments like magnet building sets, or jewellery can cause serious issues. Small children could not realize their safety. If parents are not careful this ingestion leads to the death of the patient. Initially, symptoms are similar to other foreign body ingestion that delay the precise cure of kids.

If you observe abdominal pain, fever, gaggling, or drooling in patients consult a doctor. Take their radiographs to identify the object. Endoscopy is very helpful in this case.

We are preparing you for the critical conditions to save the life of others. educate the parents and adults about the risk factors of such things.

Share this useful information and educate others. It will be a great mission. 

James Randolph

Hey, James is here with you. This blog is a powerful online resource to help you get instant answers to your superstitious beliefs, facts, and the reality of myths. Knowledge is your inner guidance system, and this blog empowers you to update, refine, reorganize and enhance your communication system. If you know well you can surely discuss facts with evidence. So, stay with us and be a master of what happens around you!

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