The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has expanded its recall of the Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets due to additional serious injuries to children reported following the March 31, 2006 recall announcement.
In excess of 4 million units are involved. The recall includes all sets, except newer Magnetix sets sold since March 31, 2006, that are age-labeled 6+ and sets that contain the following caution label: “CAUTION: Do not ingest or inhale magnets.Attraction of magnets in the body may cause serious injury and require immediate medical care.” Mega Brands advises that sets currently at retail better retain magnets due to improved quality control, material and design changes. These products are not included in the recall.
To date, CPSC and Mega Brands are aware of one death, one aspiration, and 27 intestinal injuries. Emergency surgical intervention was needed in all but one case. At least 1,500 incidents of magnets separating from the building pieces have been reported. Although the hazard was initially thought to be a problem primarily for children younger than age 6, it has since been learned that at least 10 injuries involved children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old.
If a child swallows more than one tiny powerful magnet detached from the plastic building pieces or one such magnet and a metallic object, the objects can attract to each other inside the intestines and cause perforations and/or blockage, which can be fatal, if not treated immediately.
“CPSC is deeply concerned about the dangers that small, powerful magnets can pose to children if swallowed,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. “In order for any product recall to be effective in protecting consumers, we must significantly reduce incidents and injuries from occurring after the recall is announced.”
Mega Brands has been cooperative in this expanded recall.
These older sets, which were manufactured in China, contain up to 250 plastic building pieces and 1/2-inch diameter steel balls. The building pieces include 1 1/2-inch squares, 1-inch triangles, cylinder rods, flexors, connectors, x-tenders, and curves and come in an assortment of colors such as metallic, primary, translucent, and glow in the dark.
Mass merchants and other toy and arts and crafts stores sold the sets nationwide for between $20 and $60, depending on the size of the set.
Consumers should stop using the recalled magnetic sets immediately and contact Mega Brands for a comparable replacement toy. If consumers are uncertain as to whether their product is being recalled, they can contact Mega Brands at 800-779-7122 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit http://www.megabrands.com/
The CPSC is urging consumers to immediately report any incidents of loose magnets to the CPSC Hotline at 800-638-2772 or to the CPSC Web site at www.cpsc.gov