Buckyballs advertises itself as a desktoy. Well, just because it’s called a toy doesn’t mean it’s for kids. As with all small items, the little round magnets should be kept well out of the reach of small children. Fortunately, we got a reminder of that important lesson without being hit with a tragedy in the process.
Three-year-old Payton Bushnell ingested a staggering 37 of the rare-earth magnets without anyone noticing. Apparently, nobody missed those Buckyballs, either, because Bushnell was only taken to the hospital after complaining of flu-like symptoms. At the hospital, doctors took an X-ray and discovered the 37 magnets linked together in the child’s stomach, which were removed. Bushnell is now recovering, and doctors expect that there will be no permanent damage.
Kids swallowing things is not a new phenomenon, but magnets pose an especial danger. The force of those magnets being attracted to each other while inside the body can damage or puncture internal organs, meaning that, at a count of 37, young Payton and her parents should count themselves as very lucky that this episode only ending up as a stern warning about child safety and bite-sized objects, and not something far worse.
Buckyballs is also taking notice. Shortly after the story broke, the website posted on the home page the following message:
Buckyballs was saddened to learn that a 3-year old girl in Oregon had swallowed high-powered magnets but we are relieved that she is expected to make a full recovery. This unfortunate incident underscores the fact that Buckyballs and Buckycubes are for adults. They are not toys and are not intended for children. We urge all consumers to read and comply with the warnings we place on all our products, on our website and in stores. Please keep these products out of the hands and reach of all children.