Mum issues horrifying warning over hidden dangers of magnet toys after daughter needed emergency surgery

Magnet toy dangers
(Image credit: Alamy)

A mum has issued a heartfelt plea against the use of magnet toys after her daughter almost died from swallowing one.

The traumatised mother is urging fellow parents not to let children play with magnet toys after her daughter needed emergency life-saving surgery.

Hayley Thake took to Facebook to share her horror over her daughter swallowing two magnetic balls from a toy she was playing with.

The four-year-old swallowed the tiny magnetic balls that pose a major hidden danger, which makes them potentially lethal when swallowed.

Hayley uploaded a series of images to highlight the toy danger and issued the following hazard warning, 'Not a post I ever thought I’d write, but I want to warn other parents of the dangers of magnets. I’m sure there have been other posts but sadly I never saw one.

'I will never forgive myself for buying them but my four-year-old daughter accidentally swallowed two of these magnet balls while trying to bite them apart. She’s just undergone surgery to remove them from her bowel.'

She continued to explain the frightening hidden danger, which makes the object not only a choking hazard but more lethal if swallowed - and it's more horrifying than you'd expect.

She said, 'Once inside the body, the magnets connect to each other with the organ tissue/lining being pinched in between, eventually burning a hole in it. Luckily my daughter told me she had swallowed them so we're able to act quickly.'

In a final attempt to make parents aware of the danger, Hayley added, 'Please, please I urge all parents if you have these magnet beads throw them away immediately. Currently in the ward we are on there is a two-year-old who swallowed 14 of them. The consultant said they have so many cases and they should be banned, as well as Orbeez which swell inside the body once swallowed.'

She also attached a link from the Child Accident Prevention Trust that explains the danger in more detail. The website warns, 'The child will need emergency surgery, then, depending on the severity of the injuries, they may need numerous operations, bowel resection and time in paediatric intensive care.'

The harrowing story has so far had more than 18k shares and parents have been following her advice. One mother wrote, 'Thank you for sharing. My son has this and is constantly biting them. I have just removed them. Hope your daughter has a speedy recovery x.'

Another put

'Bless your little girl 


I’m so glad she’s ok - thank you for telling your story and for warning us about these. Also thank you for the heads up about orbeez! I have thousands here and hadn’t thought about what would happen if you swallowed one!'

A third added, 'Hope the poor wee girl and parents are ok. It’s scary how dangerous some “toys” can be!'

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)