HealthDay News — Changes in magnet exposure injuries in children reflect the period in which high-powered magnet sets were removed from and reentered the market, according to a study recently published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Leah K. Middelberg, MD, from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of the National Poison Data System for patients younger than 19 years of age with exposure to a magnet.

The researchers identified 5738 magnet exposures. Most exposures were among boys, among those younger than 6 years of age, and classified as unintentional injury (55%, 62%, and 84%, respectively). A total of 222 exposures (3.9%) had a confirmed medical effect, defined as signs, symptoms, and clinical findings, which did not include therapeutic interventions. From 2008-2011 to 2012-2017, there was a 33% decrease in cases (from 418 to 281 per year) after removal of high-powered magnet sets from the market. After high-powered magnet sets reentered the market, calls subsequently increased 444% to 1249 per year (2018 to 2019). From 2018 to 2019, cases increased across all age groups and accounted for 39% of magnet exposure cases since 2008.

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“Regulations on these products were effective, and the dramatic increase in the number of high-powered magnet related injuries since the ban was lifted — even compared to pre-ban numbers — is alarming,” Middelberg said in a statement.

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