The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is applauding the decision of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) to remove the magnetic toys known as Buckyballs from store shelves. Buckyballs, and the similar Buckycubes, are touted as stress relief magnetic desk toys for adults. However, the “toy” has come under fire recently after young children have swallowed or choked on the small magnetic balls.
Today the CPSC announced a ban on Buckyballs and Buckycubes, citing increasing choking and swallowing cases as the reason for the sudden decision.
AAP President Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP, believes that the decision to remove Buckyballs from the market is prudent:
“As pediatricians, our number one goal is to keep children safe. The powerful, tiny magnets contained in these toys and other similar products have caused unnecessary surgeries, debilitating injuries, irreversible gastrointestinal damage and other lifelong health impacts in infants, children and adolescents.”
One recent incident involved 3-year-old Payton Bushnell who swallowed 37 Buckyballs and ended up needing surgery to remove the magnets that had joined together in a mass in her stomach. Other injuries associated with Buckyballs have included bowel perforations or fistulas, twisted bowels, severe infections, and other serious gastrointestinal injuries.
Dr. Block adds that pediatricians have been concerned for years about the hazards that Buckyballs pose:
“Pediatricians have been ringing an alarm bell about these dangerous products since we first recognized the damage they cause in children and adolescents who accidentally swallow them. Once separated, these tiny high-powered magnets will attempt to find each other, even when a stomach wall or intestinal tract stands between them.”
The APP fully supports the decision of the CPSC to ban Buckyballs, stating:
“The AAP commends CPSC’s bold step today to help keep harmful magnetic products out of the hands and mouths of children.”
Do you agree with the ban on Buckyballs?