Mom Warns of Medical Dangers After Son Swallows 27 Magnets and Is Rushed to Hospital

Peyton was 4 when he swallowed a string of powerful magnets, his mother said.
Peyton was 4 when he swallowed a string of powerful magnets, his mother said. Jessica MacNair

An Indiana mother is warning other parents about the huge medical dangers of kids swallowing magnets. Jessica MacNair's son, Peyton, was 4 when he began whimpering and saying something was stuck in his throat.

Looking in his mouth, Jessica saw two tiny, round magnets fused to the child's uvula, the 30-year-old science teacher recently told the "Today" show.

Because she'd something similar on "Grey's Anatomy," Jessica and her husband rushed Peyton to the local emergency room. There, doctors took x-rays and found 25 more of the small magnets in his stomach.

“Most people don’t realize the dangers of swallowing magnets,” she said. “It can happen to anyone and it can happen in a split second.” Though the magnets are very small, their pull is quite strong.

“They could tear through tissue and the body,” his mom warned

Peyton, now 6, is autistic and sometimes acts much younger than his age, she said. 

He told his mom he had pretended to eat a spaghetti string, which were really his older brother's magnets hooked together like a snake.

"These neodymium magnets, even if they are small, they can be really powerful. The size does not have anything to do with how powerful they are,” Dr. Michael Foreman, a gastroenterologist who treated Peyton, said on the morning program. “They have a strong pull.”

Physicians were able to remove the magnets by intubating the child and inserting a scope into his small intestine. The magnets adhered to the scope and were successfully withdrawn. Peyton suffered only a sore throat afterwards.

“I still see parents buying these for their kids and they are advertised as toys. They are fun to play with. I have played with them myself,” she said. “Most people don’t realize the dangers of swallowing magnets. Even if it is just one or two magnets … they are going to tear through your child," the mother said.

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