Since then, calls to U.S. poison control centers about kids and magnets increased more than 400%, a recent study out of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio found.
“Regulations on these products were effective, and the dramatic increase in the number of high-powered magnet-related injuries since the ban was lifted — even compared to pre-ban numbers — is alarming,” Dr. Leah Middelberg, lead author of the study and emergency medicine physician at Nationwide, told U.S. News & World Report.
The researchers analyzed the National Poison Data System from 2008 through October 2019 for kids younger than 19 with magnet “exposure,” which poison centers define as ingestion, inhalation, injection or dermal exposure to a poison.
Between 2012 and 2017, calls to poison control centers fell 33% because of the ban. After the ban was lifted, however, they rose 444%, the researchers found. There was also a 355% increase in cases that required the child to be hospitalized.
The scientists found 5,738 magnet exposures, nearly 55% of which were boys and 62% younger than age 6.
The Ohio study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics.