The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has released a warning regarding magnets and children. Much care should be taken when considering giving children toys that have mini-magnets. If these magnets become dislodged or if children swallow them during play, then injury and death can occur. If two (2) or more of these magnets are swallowed, they may not pass in the stools. They can attach to each other in the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, various injuries can occur, including perforation, twisting, and blockage of the intestines. In addition, the magnets can cause infection, blood poisoning, and death.
The CPSC has stated that it is aware of at least 53 children who have suffered after having ingested magnets: 33 were injured, 19 required surgery, and one died.
So what precautions can you take with your child? Injury prevention is the key. Carefully decide which toys your child can play with & what toys you even allow into your home. Regularly check any toys that have magnets for missing pieces. These magnets can either be a part of toys or they can be the toy itself. A building set of mini-magnets is a perfect example of a toy that although advertised for children, should not be used without strict constant direct one-on-one supervision.
Lastly, if you think you child has swallowed magnets, contact your doctor immediately. Signs and symptoms of a problem can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain.
To listen to an audio regarding injury in children who swallowed magnets by accident, please go to http://bit.ly/sLFGxR.
Nationwide, manufacturers are recalling their drop-side cribs left and right. Recently, over two (2) million have been recalled due to an increased number of injuries and deaths. This brings the total to over nine (9) million that have been recalled in the last five (5) years. Some of the manufacturers affected include Pottery Barn Kids, Simmons, Bexco, LaJobi, Jardine, Evenflo, Delta, Child Craft (out of business), Graco, Simplicity, Generation 2, ChilDESIGNS, Stork Craft, Simplicity, PlayKids USA, and L.A. Baby. Sadly, the list does not end here. It goes on and on. To check to see if your crib has been recalled, go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The injury or death can occur when the drop-side crib’s hardware comes loose, leaving a gap between the baby’s mattress and the rail, leading to suffocation or strangulation. Since 2000, these cribs have resulted in at least 32 deaths and 16 cases of entrapment in infants and toddlers, with another 14 deaths linked as well.
About two (2) weeks ago, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (http://www.cpsc.gov/) proposed a new standard that cribs manufactured for sale or resale must have four (4) fixed sides. If passed, it is predicted that as early as Summer 2011, drop-side cribs will be banned sale, re-sale or use in stores, hotels, and daycare centers.
What should you do if you have a one? Stop using it. Contact the manufacturer or search their website. Many are offering kits that will immobilize the rail. If no such kit is available, please consider replacing your crib. Although the deaths have been few, your child could become one of the rare ones. It is not worth taking the chance.