Buckyballs. Do you know what they are? Do you know what they look like? Did you know that they pose a potential hazard to your children and pets? If you answered 'no' to any of these questions, please don't feel bad, either did I.
Recently I read an article in the Toronto Star Newspaper about Payton Bushnell, a 3-year old girl from Portland, Oregon who swallowed 37 magnets and survived the surgery to remove all the high-powered magnetic Buckyballs that punched a hole in her stomach and intestines. Payton's parents believe that she mistook the Buckyballs for the sprinkles that you often see on decorative cupcakes.
"…she mistook the Buckyballs for the sprinkles that you often see on decorative cupcakes."
Kim Dulic, the spokesperson for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, said that, "… the accidental ingestion of these high-powered magnets by children has been on the rise in recent years. One incident was reported in 2009, seven in 2010, and 14 through October 2011." The ages of the children involved ranged from 18 months to 15 years. Eleven required surgical removal of the magnets. They are so small that it would be very difficult to notice if one or two go missing in a couch, on the floor, or in your carpeting.
Craig Zucker, CEO of 'Maxfield and Oberton' manufacturer of Buckyballs said, "High-powered magnets, such as Buckyballs, are products for adult use only and should be kept away from all children." Please click on Buckyballs to read more about this product.
UPDATE: U.S. Officials Stop Firm from Selling Magnets
It was reported on July 25, 2012, in the Chicago Tribune that Federal Officials after receiving a rare administrative complaint from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) filed a lawsuit against Maxfield & Oberton, the manufacturer of 'Buckyballs' demanding a recall of magnetic desk toys, demanding that they stop selling this product and alerting consumers that the product is 'defective'.
"We felt the time had come when we needed to take a stronger position in order to protect the safety of children," said agency spokesman Scott Wolfson. Despite educational campaigns involving social media, public service announcements and online warnings, reports of injuries to children continued to occur and therefore proved ineffective.
Thank you Scott Wolfson!