The mother of a little girl who barely escaped death after swallowing 23 magnets is warning other moms about the dangers of keeping magnets within reach of kids.
Tanith, a Lewes mother, is overwhelmed with gratitude and relief after saving her daughter from the brink. She shared her story with the world to help other parents avoid the same fate.
The mom recalled how her daughter began playing with magnets at school and became captivated, so much that she took some home to make jewellery for her doll.
However, things took a new turn after the little girl watched TikTok videos where people used magnets instead of tongue piercings. Curious, the 6-year old tried mimicking the videos and swallowed 23 strong magnets within days. The magnets caused severe pain in her stomach and ripped through her bowel.
The woman’s daughter first complained about her stomach upset on September 12 and kept throwing up for two days. The woman finally took her daughter to the hospital after seeing no improvement. Doctors diagnosed her with appendicitis.
They immediately scheduled a surgical session at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. During the operation, surgeons discovered a cluster of magnets in her abdomen.
‘I would urge parents to be aware of the dangers associated with magnetic toys,’ — Professor Simon Kenny.
— NHS England and NHS Improvement (@NHSEngland) May 29, 2021
Tanith explained that despite swallowing them at intervals, the magnet clustered together in the girl’s intestine because of how strong they were. The little girl said that she ingested the magnets because they felt good in her mouth.
Costa Healey, the pediatric surgeon who operated, described the magnets as potentially fatal. He also said that they could cause serious injuries.
Tanith was able to seek medical assistance for her daughter just in the time it took to save her. After a successful operation, she returned home and is now on the road to recovery. Her only visible sign of the near-fatal accident is a 10-cm long scar at her midsection.
Yet, her mom couldn’t be happier, knowing things could have turned out much worse for her daughter. The family is now taking extra precautions to prevent such incidents from happening again.
A search of the girl’s room revealed more magnets, which they have since discarded. Tanith offers some helpful advice to parents, drawing inspiration from their frightening encounters. She shared:
“I want to warn parents about the dangers of their children playing with magnets. I want to reinforce how dangerous these magnets are.”
Healey also warned parents to look out for such potentially deadly yet overlooked items in the house, as not every child could be so lucky. He said:
“The vast majority of the time we get there in time to save them. But if I was a parent with magnets in the house, I’d be getting rid of them.”
Tanith’s daughter’s plight has also called attention to extreme TikTok challenges and the dangers they pose to human lives and society.
Earlier this month, a nine-year-old boy participated in a TikTok challenge requiring him to swallow magnetic balls. After following the video’s instructions, the boy ended up in emergency surgery. He had to have his appendix, large and small intestine, and some of his appendix removed.
Monitoring what children see online is a good way to keep them safe and prevent them from unsupervised magnet handling.
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