The mother of a little girl who barely escaped death after swallowing 23 magnets is warning other moms about the dangers of keeping magnets within reach of kids.
A Lewes mom, Tanith, is filled with relief and gratitude after snatching her tot from the brink of death. Following the encounter, she shared her story with the world in order to keep other parents on their toes lest they live through the same ordeal.
The mom recalled how her daughter began playing with magnets at school and became captivated, so much that she took some home to make jewelry for her doll.
Blond boy holding an x-ray image | Source: Shutterstock
However, things took a new turn after the little girl watched TikTok videos where people used magnets in lieu of tongue piercings. Curious, the 6-year-old tried imitating the videos and ended up swallowing 23 strong magnets within days. The magnets ripped through her bowel, causing severe pain.
The woman’s daughter first complained about her stomach upset on September 12 and kept throwing up for two days. Finally, seeing no signs of improvement, the woman took her little girl to the hospital, where the doctors diagnosed her with appendicitis.
They immediately scheduled a surgical session at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. During the procedure, surgeons discovered a clump of magnets in her bowel.
Tanith explained that despite swallowing them at intervals, the magnet clustered together in the girl’s intestine because of how strong they were. When prompted, the little girl admitted to ingesting the magnets because they felt good in her mouth.
Costa Healey, the pediatric surgeon who performed the operation, described the magnets as potentially fatal. He also admitted they could cause life-changing injuries.
Thankfully, Tanith sought medical aid for her daughter just in time to save her. She returned home after successful surgery and has been on the path of recovery. The only visible sign of her recent near-fatal experience is a 10 cm long scar in her midsection.
An ambulance responding to an emergency | Photo: Getty Images
Yet, her mom couldn’t be happier, knowing things could have turned out much worse for her daughter. Meanwhile, the family is taking extra care to ensure such incidents never reoccurs.
A search of the girl’s room revealed more magnets, which they have since discarded. Taking a page out of their scary encounter, Tanith has some advice for every parent out there. She shared:
“I want to warn parents about the dangers of their children playing with magnets. I want to reinforce how dangerous these magnets are.”
A picture of a stethoscope on a medical chart | Photo: Pixabay
Healey also warned parents to look out for such potentially deadly yet overlooked items in the house, as not every child could be so lucky. He said:
“The vast majority of the time we get there in time to save them. But if I was a parent with magnets in the house, I’d be getting rid of them.”
Tanith’s daughter’s plight has also called attention to extreme TikTok challenges and the dangers they pose to human lives and society.
A picture of sterile instruments before a surgery | Photo: Pixabay
Earlier this month, a nine-year-old boy participated in a TikTok challenge requiring him to swallow magnetic balls. Unfortunately, after imitating the quest in the video, he ended up needing an emergency life-saving surgery, losing parts of his appendix and parts of his large and small intestine.
In addition to keeping kids away from unsupervised magnet handling, monitoring what they see on the internet is also an important way of keeping their activities in check, hence keeping them from potential harm.
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