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Toddler hospitalized after swallowing 16 magnetic balls

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 2:47 PM MST
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ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) - A Florida mother’s 2-year-old child was rushed to the hospital after swallowing more than a dozen magnetic balls.

Hannah Arrington said sometime in April one of her older kids brought tiny magnetic balls home from school. Shortly after, her youngest son Konin started having stomach pains that eventually sent him to the emergency room.

“From the time he got them from whoever he got them from, Konin ended up swallowing 16 of them and we had no idea,” Arrington told WESH.

There are a number of products on the market that match that description. One brand, Buckyballs, was banned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for causing serious injuries, such as holes in the stomach and intestines or even death after being ingested.

But the balls made their way back onto store shelves, and into the Arrington household after a judge lifted the ban.

“As he ate them, they went down into his digestive tract, and then each time he would find another one somewhere in the house and swallow it, it would click together, and it perforated a hole through his stomach all the way down into his colon area,” Arrington said.

Konin underwent extensive surgery to get the magnets out, but the toddler is back in the hospital with a feeding tube as doctors run tests to figure out why he can’t keep anything down.

The company who made the product advertises items as a desk toy. The site also has a warning to keep the balls away from children.

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