OTTAWA, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Canada's federal health agency issued a warning about the potentially fatal problems small, powerful magnets can pose if swallowed by children.
It its statement, Health Canada said there has been an increase in the magnets being sold to adults as bead novelties and as part of children's toys.
"If a child swallows more than one powerful magnet over a short period of time, the magnets can attract one another while travelling through the body," the agency said. "When this happens, the magnets can twist the intestines and create a blockage or they can slowly tear through the intestinal walls."
The report said there are two known cases of children in Canada who required emergency surgery to remove small magnets from their bodies.
In the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission requested this year companies stop the manufacture, import, distribution and sale of the magnetic beads, often marketed as relief for stress.
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