Sunday, July 01, 2007

4/19/07 Recalls Small Magnets, Magnetix Magnetic Building Set

1. Small Magnets Are Injuring Children; CPSC Releases Stronger Warning
to Parents
2. Magnetix Magnetic Building Set Recall Expanded

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NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2007
Release #07-163

CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Small Magnets Are Injuring Children; CPSC Releases Stronger Warning to
Parents

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the number of toys with magnets increases, so is
the number of serious injuries to children. The U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of hundreds of complaints that magnets
have fallen out of various toys and at least 33 cases where children
swallowed loose magnets and required emergency surgery. In addition, a
20-month-old boy from Seattle, Wash. died.

Of the 33 cases, the children ranged in age from 10 months to 11 years,
the majority were older than three, and the majority were boys. All of
the injuries led to hospital stays, which ranged from three to 19 days.
In nearly all cases reviewed by CPSC, children had suffered intestinal
perforations.

In addition to the intestinal injuries from swallowing loose magnets,
the CPSC is aware of one case of intestinal perforation after a child
swallowed magnetic jewelry that was being worn on the child's tongue,
two cases of intestinal perforations after children swallowed complete
components of building sets containing magnets, one aspiration of a
loose magnet, and one perforation of the nasal wall from nose jewelry.

Within the past year, the CPSC has conducted five recalls with more than
eight million products containing magnets that could come loose and fall
out of the product. In the fall of 2006, the CPSC alerted parents to the
emerging hazard of magnets. Even so, children continue to be treated in
emergency rooms across the country for complications due to ingesting
magnets or toy components with magnets.

If two or more magnets, two or more magnet components, or a magnet and
another metal object are swallowed separately, they can attract to one
another through intestinal walls. When this happens, parents and
physicians may think that the materials will pass through the child. But
with magnets this is often not the case. The magnets become trapped in
the body and can twist or pinch the intestine, causing holes, blockage
and infection in the intestine or blood poisoning. All of which can lead
to death.

The CPSC is working with manufacturers, the toy industry and other
stakeholders to protect children from the dangers of magnets. New
voluntary standards requirements were approved on March 15th. In
addition, the voluntary standards group will continue to consider
additional requirements during the next year.

In the meantime, the CPSC is working to help those in the medical
community better understand the hazard and how to properly diagnose it.

To help prevent serious magnet ingestion injuries the CPSC recommends:

* Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect your child may have
swallowed a magnet

* Look for non-specific abdominal symptoms: abdominal pains, nausea,
vomiting and diarrhea

* Note that objects in x-rays may appear as a single object that could
actually be multiple magnetic pieces separated by trapped intestinal
walls

* Keep small magnets and small pieces containing magnets away from young
children who might mistakenly or intentionally swallow them

* Look out for loose magnetic pieces - regularly inspect toys and
children's play areas for missing or dislodged magnets

CPSC has also prepared a safety alert on the hazard posed by small
magnets.

To see this release on CPSC's web site, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07163.html


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NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2007
Release #07-164

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 779-7122
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Magnetix Magnetic Building Set Recall Expanded
Serious Injuries Continue to be Reported to CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Additional serious injuries to children reported
following the March 31, 2006 recall announcement of Magnetix Magnetic
Building Sets have prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
and Mega Brands America, Inc. ("Mega Brands") (the new owner of Rose Art
Industries, Inc.) to announce an expanded recall. 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
six, it has since been learned that at least ten 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 the firm's Web site at
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

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