The dangers of magnetic toys come from the potential that children will swallow the magnets. And if you have seen the tiny and very strong magnetic beads that are sold as adult toys then it’s easy to see how this could happen.
Why magnets are dangerous?
Magnets are fascinating whatever age you are, so it’s no wonder there are magnetic fidget toys aimed at grown-ups. They make great desk toys and are perfect for a bit of mindfulness through play, but they are also very appealing to kids who might not understand the potential dangers of swallowing magnets.
If a child swallows more than one magnet then they can attract each other inside the body, trapping tissue between them, cutting off blood supply and causing internal injuries that are potentially life-threatening. Which means that strong magnets that are small enough to swallow are definitely not the sort of toys you want to be giving to young children.
It is also worth considering the quality of magnetic toys that are designed for younger children, as while magnets may appear to be safely encased within a larger toy that can’t be swallowed, these magnets could still pose a risk if the toy gets broken apart.
However there is also a lot of fun and educational benefit from playing with magnetic toys. The best advice here is to buy quality safety tested toys designed for children and to supervise younger children while they play.
Knowing the dangers and taking steps to prevent children from swallowing magnets is the best way to keep your children safe.
- First, keep small loose magnets away from young children that might swallow them.
- Closely monitor children while they are playing with magnets that may be small enough to swallow.
- If you have a set of small magnets, even fridge magnets, make sure you count them back in after each use to ensure none have gone missing.
- Talk to your children about the potential risks of swallowing magnets and make sure they know they should talk to you if they ever swallow a magnet, even if they feel fine.
- If your child is experiencing nausea, vomiting or stomach pain and you think they may have swallowed magnets make sure you seek medical help and advice.
- Choose safe magnetic toys like Tegu building blocks where the magnets are encased, or choose magnets that are too big to swallow when shopping for younger children.
Magnetic building blocks for toddlers are a great option for younger children and a fun way to start exploring magnets in a safe way.