Indian toddler swallows 29 magnets

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When a little boy in India had recurring stomach aches, doctors only gave him pain relief for the longest time. When he finally had an x-ray, the horrifying truth was revealed...

A little boy from Northern India had been suffering from bad tummy pains for some time. But each time the 3-year-old was taken to the doctor by his parents, all he was given were painkillers.

But last month, the boy was finally admitted to hospital for his first X-ray, and the results were just shocking -- he had a huge ball of metal in his stomach.

Rushed to surgery

The toddler was rushed to surgery where doctor discovered a clump of small magnets the boy had been swallowing over some time.

Dr Brahm Datt Pathak, Head of Laparoscopic Surgery, at Metro Hospital, Faridabad, said:

"There were 29 magnets in total, very unusual. It seems he’d been swallowing these objects for over a year. I would even say it had become a habit for him.

"Surgery lasted for more than three hours, and my team and I felt we were just pulling more and more metal out his little stomach."

Alarmingly, the magnets had clumped together in a huge ball, which was causing the little boy terrible pain and had completely damaged his gut.

Reports say that the little boy's family run a jewellery box making business, which resulted in small magnets and scrap metal pieces being strewn across the floor of their home.

The toddler, needless to say, had been kept busy over a long period of time, swallowing these magnets.

The good news is that surgery on the boy was successful and he is now recovering at home. We hope his parents are doing a better job of cleaning their floors.

Keep magnets away from babies!

We know babies and toddler just love popping things into their mouths -- including magnets, like in the case of the little Indian boy.

According to the American College of Medical Toxicology, the dangers of a child swallowing a magnet are many.

  • A single magnet, if swallowed, can become stuck in the child's lungs, esophagus or throat, leading to choking.
  • A larger, or oddly shaped magnet if swallowed, may become stuck in a child's digestive system.
  • If a magnet is swallowed with another metal object or magnet, the magnetic attraction "can pin the bowel walls together leading to a blockage or tearing of the bowel that is potentially deadly."

If your child swallows a magnet or gets one stuck in his/her nose or ear, take him/her to hospital or call emergency services on 995 without delay.

Do not try to induce vomiting

And as a rule, children under the age of six should not have access to magnets, or other small items that they could swallow. Check out other rules for toy safety that parents should note and adhere to!

*In the image at the top of the article, on the left you see some of the magnets that were taken out of the boy's stomach, and on the right, the x-ray image of the clump of metal that the magnets had formed. 

Parents, share your thoughts on this article in a comment below. What safety rules do you have in your home when it comes to toddlers and babies?