National campaign highlights the dangers of high-powered magnets

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A warning has gone out to parents in Nottingham about the dangers of small magnets found in their children’s toys.

It has come from Nottingham City Council’s Trading Standards team and is part of a national safety campaign running from today (Monday) until 9 October.

This is being run in partnership with the Office for Product Safety and Standards, supported by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, and the Child Accident Prevention Trust.

Nationally, there has been an increase in the number of cases where children and young people have suffered serious injuries as a result of swallowing small, high-powered magnets.

When ingested, magnets stick together internally through organs and tissue, and can cut off blood supply causing tissue to die. In extreme cases, this can be life-threatening.

These magnets are typically found in a range of products including jewellery-making kits, magnetic dartboards, building-block toys, fridge magnets and desk gadgets.

Nottingham families are being asked to talk to their children about the dangers small magnets pose, to remain vigilant and to make sure they are out of the reach of children.

Parents and carers are also being asked to regularly check toys containing magnets for signs of wear-and-tear and to dispose of them safely if necessarily.

Councillor Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion at Nottingham City Council, said: “As part of this national campaign, we really want to raise awareness locally of the danger that these small magnets pose to children.

“The national case of six-year-old Libbie Walker, who swallowed a magnet from a fashion bracelet in 2019 and required major surgery in order to remove it, serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of ingesting these high-powered magnets.

“They are present in a number of toys and games which children regularly play with and it’s so important that parents and carers know the risks and are able to explain to their children why these magnets must never be put in their mouth.

“If you believe a child has swallowed a magnet, take them immediately to A&E or call 999 for an ambulance. Symptoms may not be obvious but could include abdominal pain, vomiting and fever, or the child may be complaining of an issue with their throat or stomach.”

Anyone who becomes aware of any dangerous or unsafe products, including those containing magnets being advertised or offered for sale in Nottingham, please report this to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice by calling 0808 223 1133 or visiting https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/

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