9-Year-Old Boy Nearly Dies After Swallowing Magnets in Viral TikTok Trend
The child underwent emergency surgery after being rushed to a hospital, his mother said.
A 9-year-old boy in Scotland nearly died after swallowing several tiny magnets that attached to each other in his abdomen and blocked his bowels, his mother said.
Jack Mason was rushed into surgery after experiencing severe pain and violent vomiting. After some prodding, his mom said, he admitted to swallowing a handful of tiny, silver magnets. Viral videos on TikTok show youngsters putting the magnets in their mouths to resemble tongue piercings and have prompted warnings against the practice by medical experts.
Jack's appendix was removed earlier this month during surgery. He also lost a portion of his small intestine and nearly one foot of his large intestine, said his mother, Carolann McGeoch.
"It was explained to me that the damage these magnets can cause could be so extreme that he might not pull through," she said. "Through floods of tears I then had to sign my permission to the operation, acknowledging that 'anything could happen,'" the BBC reported.
The boy had seen the TikTok videos being circulated on social media, McGeoch said. "Jack is lucky to be alive," his mother said. "If his experience can prevent other kids from enduring the same, then I will do everything I can to do that."
McGeoch advised parents to search their children's belongings for magnets, and dispose of them.
In Britain, 65 children have required emergency surgery in the last three years to remove magnets, the BBC said.
Jack's school issued an advisory through the PTA. "We were really concerned when we heard one of our very own P5 pupils has been gravely ill in hospital and had to undergo serious & life changing surgery — all due to a TikTok challenge involving magnets," the statement said. "We really want to try and reach as many families as possible and we all wish Jack a speedy recovery and hope he will be back in school very soon."
His mother said Jack faces a long recovery.
A TikTok spokeswoman told the BBC, "We do not allow content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies behavior that might lead to injury. Our safety team uses a range of measures to keep our community safe, and we have been conducting additional proactive searches to detect content of this nature," she said.
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