Parents of children exposed to strong magnets often don’t know if there are warning signs or report not reading them, according to a study published online Oct. 3. Pediatrics.

Leah K. Midelberg, MD, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, and colleagues conducted a retrospective, multicenter study of children exposed to powerful magnets (swallowing or bodily insertion). Participants answered a questionnaire regarding availability and usefulness warning labels. A total of 173 parents and one adult patient were reached and consented to participate.

The researchers found that 53.6 percent of the time, people reported they didn’t know if a warning label was present, while 22.3 percent said there were no warnings. Warnings were present in 24.1 percent of cases, but only 46.4 percent reported reading the warnings. In 16.1 percent of the impact a manufacturer was identified; of these 28 cases, 25 were domestic and 27 had warnings. In 58 percent of cases, people reported that they knew magnets were dangerous; 44.3% thought they were children’s toys, and only 6.9% reported knowing that powerful magnets had previously been removed from the US market.

“Injuries caused by powerful magnets are likely to continue without federal efforts to remove these products from the market,” the authors write.

Calls to poison control centers about powerful magnets increased by 444% after the ban was lifted

Additional information:
Leah K. Midelberg et al., Warning Labels and Exposure to Powerful Magnets, Pediatrics (2022). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2022-056325

Health Day 2022. All rights reserved.

Citation: Warning labels on high-powered magnets unlikely to prevent child injuries (2022, October 3) retrieved October 3, 2022 from .html

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