CPSC Suing Manufacturer Of Buckyballs Adult Toys Causing Product Liability And Endangering Young Children
Over the last couple of years there have been a number of severe injuries to young children that were caused by toys called Buckyballs. Buckyballs are small but very strong magnetic balls, packaged in groups of 10 to 216 balls, which are intended to be desk toys for adults but are sold in toys stores and have often fallen into the hands of young children. On July 30, 2012 it was reported by the ABA Journal that the Consumer Product Safety Commission had decided to file a federal lawsuit against the manufacturer of these toys to stop their sale which is an unusual move on the part of the CPSC.
The CPSC had asked the manufacturer to recall these magnetic toys because they believe they "pose a grave danger to children." Other groups and many parents have also been calling for the toy to be removed from the marketplace but despite all these efforts Maxfield & Oberton, the manufacturer, has refused to recall them.
What Makes These small Magnetic Toys Dangerous?
It is natural for small children to put things in their mouths and when they do these items are often swallowed. Small items can usually pass through their system and out the other end. So why is there a problem with these very tiny magnets? The danger of swallowing these small magnets is that they stick together because of their powerful magnetic attraction to each other and sections of tissue/intestine get pinched between them. This can cause injury to the stomach and intestines by causing ulceration and/or perforation to the tissues. In some cases it can cause intestinal blockage or twisting of the intestines. Internal injury caused by these small magnetic toys has been responsible for serious injury to a number of small children over the past few years. Some of these children became severely ill with pain and infections and required hospitalization and surgery to remove the magnets, repair the internal injuries, and treat the infections which in some cases were life threatening.
Pediatric Society 2012 Survey On Magnet Ingestions
The North American Society For Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatolory & Nutrition estimates that half of the magnet ingestions by children requires surgery and about a third involve bowl perforations. Among a survey of just their members in spring 2012 which covered cases over the last 2 years, it was reported there were 60 magnet ingestions which caused 23 bowel perforations and required 26 surgeries.
A 22 month old toddler from Mississippi had an encounter with Buckyballs that resulted in a life changing injury. After extensive medical treatment and 3 surgeries he has been left with only 4-6 inches of healthy small intestine after a large area of dead bowl had to be removed. He must now receive his nutrition intravenously and will likely need a future intestinal transplant in order to eat normally again. Cases of serious injury caused by Buckyballs and other dangerous products happen every year in the United States. When serious injury occurs, victims of dangerous products can be sent scrambling for help from personal injury attorneys to get help in obtaining compensation for all of the medical bills and pain & suffering.