Consumer Reports issues 'Safety Alert' with magnetic toys

Federal court overturns 2014 ban on controversial super strong magnet sets


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Consumer Reports has issued a "Safety Alert" about those controversial super strong magnet sets that have been banned since 2014. They caused many life threatening injuries -- especially among children and teens. Now a Federal court has overturned the ban and they are back on the market.

Back in 2012 when Braylon Jordan was almost two, he swallowed eight tiny magnets. Their powerful force perforated his intestine, most of which had to be surgically removed. He is now a happy first grader, but still gets nearly all of his nutrition intravenously.

Braylon was just one of the thousands of people who ended up in the emergency room with magnet injuries before the ban.

Dr. Adam Noel, one of Braylon’s doctors, says in his experience the ban dramatically lowered the number of magnetic ball injuries.

“We see the injuries very rare right now, maybe one or two cases a year,” said Noel.

But recently, prompted by a petition filed by Zen Magnets, a panel of Federal judges voted 2 to 1 to rescind the ban, which means the magnets can legally be sold again.

Consumer Reports health editor, Ellen Kunes, says the magnets can still be dangerous.

“These magnets are so strong that if they are swallowed, they can pull together with enough force to punch holes along different sections of the digestive system,” said Kunes.

The founder of Zen magnets maintains they are “perfectly safe when properly used.” There are also warnings about possible injuries on the website and in the packaging.

But Consumer Reports urges parents to use extreme caution.

“We recommend that you avoid having these magnet sets if there are any children in the home,” Kunes said.

Another warning from Consumer Reports: If you had strong magnet sets in the past, look for and throw away any magnets that might have gotten loose in your house to protect your children and teens.