Product Liability and Potentially Dangerous Toys: Magnets represent real danger to unsuspecting children
Possible dangers of toys are not obvious, that is why there are legal requirements that the manufacturer test the toys. Additionally, enforcement of product liability injury laws help police the industry. On example of an unsuspected defect was a few months back; one unfortunate couple made a purchase they'll likely regret for the rest of their lives, magnets. They were shopping near their hometown and came across a bag of high-powered magnets that could be used to form various shapes and chose to buy them for a little amusement. When they arrived back at their house they made sure to put the toys away on an upper shelf. Apparently it wasn't high enough to keep their young son, 2-year-old Braylon, away. He found the bag of magnets and ended up swallowing eight of them.
Rather than just simply passing the round balls, they magnets fused together and, in the process, wreaked havoc inside the little boy. The high-powered magnets attached to each other and, in doing so, twisted and ultimately perforated the boy's intestinal tract.
Since the terrible accident the child has been in the hospital, coming up on two months now. Most of the time was spent in the ICU given the severity of his injuries. Braylon has had six surgeries, developed a blood infection and had to be fully sedated for three weeks. He's thankfully supposed to leave the hospital soon, but will have to return for more surgeries. He's scheduled to get an intestinal transplant given the amount of tissue that had to be removed during all his surgeries.
Shockingly, given the horrible damage inflicted on Braylon and other's just like him, there not yet been a thorough study of the impact of magnets ingested by children. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has said that since 2008 it has received some 200 reports of similar incidents involving children and high-powered magnets. As a result, one of the doctors that worked with Braylon, Dr. Adam Noel, decided to conduct a survey of his own. He asked a group of pediatric gastroenterologists for their thoughts on the issue. The 33 physicians who responded to Dr. Noel's survey said that they have seen a total of 82 young patients who have swallowed magnets. Sadly, the vast majority of these children suffered bowel perforations, just like Braylon.
Dr. Noel and a group of other concerned doctors will be meeting with officials from the CPSC to discuss ways to ensure that additional children don't suffer from similar accidents. The companies that make the toys insist that their products are perfectly safe if used per the instructions. Treat them like any dangerous item in a house, like a stove, and the children can be perfectly safe from the danger they present.
Doctors disagree, pointing out that the products often contain hundreds of individual magnets, making it impossible for parents to know if a few went missing. Children can then easily get ahold of the magnets and, possibly mistaking them for candy, swallow them; unaware of the danger they are placing themselves in. For information on how to protect your legal rights if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, call one of our Missouri personal injury attorneys today at 1-314-863-0500.
Source: "Powerful magnets in toys raise risks from swallowing," by Elizabeth Cohen, published at CNN.com.
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