Warning after six-year-old has surgery for swallowing magnets after TikTok trend

Warning after six-year-old has surgery for swallowing magnets after TikTok trend By A Robin - September 25, 2021
Girl swallowed 23 magnets

The girl swallowed 23 magnets over a few days while she was using them to make jewellery for her doll

A mother has issued a stark warning to parents about dangers of children swallowing magnets after her daughter had to undergo bowel surgery.


The six-year-old had been playing with magnets at school before taking them home to make jewellery for a doll.

Over the course of a few days, she swallowed 23 of the strong magnets which ripped through her bowel.

The NHS surgeon who performed the operation said the magnets were "potentially fatal".

Her girl's mother, Tanith, said the magnets were shown being used to imitate tongue piercings in TikTok videos.

Tanith, from Lewes in East Sussex, said her daughter told her the magnets "felt nice" in her mouth as she played with them.

The magnets were so strong they clumped together in her intestine after she swallowed them, Tanith said.

Her daughter first started having stomach pains on 12 September, and had been vomiting for two days when they took her to see their GP.

When she did not improve they took her to the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital where she was diagnosed with appendicitis.

However, when surgeons began the operation to remove her appendix they found a string of magnets in her bowel.

Consultant paediatric surgeon Costa Healy, who performed the operation, said the magnets "can cause life-changing injuries" and are "potentially fatal".

"The vast majority of time we get there in time to save them, but if I was a parent with [this type of] magnets in the house, I'd be getting rid of them," he said.

The girl was discharged on Monday and is now recovering at home.

"She's been through major surgery and it's been overwhelming for her, and she's got a scar about 10cm long," her mother said.

"It could have been much worse - there's no permanent damage. We were looking at the possibility of her needing to have a stoma."

She said the family had found more magnets in her daughter's bedroom.

"I want to warn parents about the dangers of their children playing with magnets.

"I want to reinforce how dangerous these magnets really are."


By A Robin - September 25, 2021

Leave a comment