Powerful, rare earth (neodymium) magnets can cause serious injury and death when ingested. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) has reported an estimated 1,700 ingestions of magnets that were treated in emergency departments between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2011. These injuries are entirely preventable by removing the magnets from environments with children. During the webinar, you will learn more about the problems presented by this product and what can be done to prevent future injuries. Speakers include Athos Bousvaros, M.D., NASPGHAN President, R.
Definition: Asphyxiation includes suffocation, choking, and strangulation, all of which can result in death and permanent brain damage for children whose internal or external airways are blocked by foreign objects, such as food, coins, window blind cords, or even blankets.
Magnitude of the Problem: According to SafeKidsUSA, in 2009:
- 1,099 children under the age of fifteen died due to unintentional choking/strangulation.
- 94% of the 1,099 deaths were children under the age of five.
- One third of all toy-related fatalities reported to the CPSC were due to unintentional choking/strangulation.
Prevention: The majority of incidents of childhood suffocation, strangulation, and choking occur in the home. Product design, regulation, and recalls can help prevent injuries and death due to asphyxiation in young children (e.g., the requirement that toys passing a small parts test for children less than 3 years of age and recalls of dangerous toys by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Other strategies for preventing asphyxia include educating families, care givers, and child care providers on age-appropriate food items and sizes for safe ingestion as well as age-appropriate toys; supervising children while they are eating and playing; and scanning the home environment for possible hazards.
With Hanukah starting on November 27 and Black Friday creeping into Thanksgiving Day in many states this year, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. Stores and toy manufacturers offer an overwhelming selection of options in a competition to have the hottest toy of the season. When shopping for children it’s important to do your own research on the safest toy options for the children in your life.