DENVER (CBS4) – Popular magnets meant for adults have been sending children to the hospital. There have been several cases in Colorado and across the country.

It’s hard to believe Braylon Jordan was once a carefree toddler, but is now a bedridden little boy. He’s is in critical condition, recovering from five lifesaving surgeries.

“His third surgery is when they found a blood clot in his small intestine,” Jordan’s mother said.

Doctors in New Orleans discovered eight magnetic beads in the 2-year-old’s stomach. They are marketed as desk toys and stress relievers for adults, but children are swallowing the high-powered magnets and suffering the consequences.

In Jordon’s case, they squeezed together his tiny intestines.

“Compression of your intestines between two magnets will cause a hole,” a New Orleans doctor said. “That could be a very serious complication.”

Take the case of the 8-year-old in Denver who swallowed 26 of the tiny magnets like candy.

“The bowel had fused together in four or five different spots,” pediatric surgeon Dr. Steve Rothenberg at Denver’s Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children said.

Rothenberg removed the magnets and dead tissue through tiny incisions and then repaired the intestine.

“He actually did quite well,” Rothenberg said.

Rothenberg has seen at least six other patients, including a teenage girl who was using the magnets to look like a tongue piercing.

“I think the warning for parents is to keep these things away from their kids,” Rothenberg said.

The Jordans wish they had. Young Braylon faces an uphill battle which will likely mean a bowel transplant.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is aware of at least 22 cases of swallowed magnets since 2009. The agency warns the magnets can be a safety risk for children 14 and under. Many manufacturers include warnings on their labels.


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