Magnets

What are they?
Symptoms
First Aid
Prevention
 

What are magnets?

A magnet is a piece of iron that can attract or push away other objects containing iron.

Young children who are exploring may put magnets or toys that contain magnets in their mouth. It is harmful to swallow magnets, especially more than one.

What happens if you swallow a magnet?

If someone swallows a magnet, it can get caught in their throat or intestines. If the person swallows more than one, the magnets can attract to each other and tear the walls of the stomach or intestine. The person may:

  • Have stomach pain
  • Feel sick to their stomach or throw up
  • Have diarrhea

In serious cases, the person can die.

What should I do if someone has swallowed a magnet?

If you think someone may have swallowed a magnet, do not wait for symptoms. Call the poison center right away at 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511.

How can I prevent magnet ingestions?

Keep small magnets and toys that contain magnets out of reach of young children and pets.

Check the instructions on toy packaging to make sure it is age-appropriate for your children. 

Last Updated: Thursday March 9th 2017