The FPS Economy checked eighteen magnetic toy items, and two-thirds did not meet the essential safety requirements. Most common shortcoming: magnets that are too strong.
The FPS Economy has checked various toy items as part of a European campaign on toy safety. The sample contained toys with which the inspectors suspected something was wrong. They based this on the view, or on the presence or absence of information.
In addition to a number of administrative shortcomings – such as incomplete address details of the manufacturer, conflicting age warnings or the absence of the CE marking – physical-mechanical shortcomings were also found in five of the eighteen magnetic toy items purchased, the most common being: too strong, small magnets .
“In the sample examined, two-thirds of toys with magnets did not meet the essential safety requirements,” says Federal Economy Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS). “With Sinterklaas approaching, parents must be able to trust that the gifts are safe. The dangerous toys have been removed from the market.”
What was so dangerous then? In the magnetic building sets of the ‘neocubes’ type, the so-called ‘magnetic flux index’ of the balls or rods was twice higher than the permitted limit. “If more than one magnet is swallowed, they can cause a blockage in the intestines, perforate or damage the intestine and/or cut off the blood supply to parts of the intestine,” warns the FPS Economy. “It is also dangerous if the small magnetic balls are used by older children as a fake piercing, a trend that is gaining momentum on social media.”
What should you pay attention to when buying toys with magnets?
1. Pay particular attention to the warnings and markings on and in the packaging and read the instructions carefully so that the products are used safely.
2. Be aware of the risks of strong magnets and discuss them with your child(ren).
3. Seek immediate medical attention if you think your child has swallowed a magnet and especially if the child has flu-like symptoms, vomiting, or abdominal pain.
4. Inspect toys with magnets regularly. With heavy use, the toy may break and release magnets or magnetic pieces small enough to be swallowed.
5. Check whether the age indication is appropriate for the child. Be extra careful with toys that are clearly designed for children under three years old, but which carry another age warning.
Source: FPS Economy