Feds Act to Stop Sale of Magnetic Buckyballs

11 18 007

Magnets attract kids, but if you have Buckyballs in your home, be warned: The Consumer Product Safety Commission on Wednesday has acted to stop their sale.

After the manufacturer Maxfield and Oberton refused to recall Buckyballs-small but powerful desktop magnets-the safety commission took the unusual step of filing an administrative complaint, according an Associated Press report on WRAL. The commission reports that since 2009, at least a dozen children have swallowed the magnets, and some required surgery.

This news resonates with me because my children have always been fascinated by magnets. Their invisible strength is a natural way to start a conversation about science and its forces with kids of all ages. But magnets need to be used under supervision, and some magnets should not be on the market as toys.

When it comes to magnet safety, you might think you only need to look out for your youngest children, but the ongoing saga with Buckyballs debunks that theory. Although young children have accidentally ingested the magnetic balls, so have teens who were trying to mimic tongue piercings. It’s a reminder that even older children require parenting.

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