High-powered magnets are dangerous to young children

Swallowed magnet can permanently damage child's bowels

DETROIT - High-powered magnets are great for hanging grocery lists and other reminders, but they can easily end up in the hands of small children.

If swallowed, a high-powered magnet can permanently damage a child's bowels.

In the past year alone, there were more than 200 cases of swallowed magnets requiring medical attention.

More than half of those cases occurred in young children and 80 percent required endoscopic procedures or surgery to remove.

Experts say parents need to take steps to prevent these incidents.

"Childproof your home. If you have little magnets on your fridge keep them high enough, so that they are out of kid range and out of climbing kid range, " said Dr. Ellen Rome, a Cleveland Clinic pediatrician.

"Either borrow a toddler and go through the house, following them, looking where all of your danger zones are or get on your hands and knees yourself and go through the house and figure out from a kid's perspective what looks tempting," said Rome.

Remember, kids may be attracted to dangers adults may overlook.

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