A schoolboy had to undergo emergency surgery to remove six magnetic toys from his stomach after accidentally swallowing them.
Mickey Hambly, from Margate in Kent, was taken to the emergency room by his parents in the early morning hours when he developed severe abdominal pain.
The seven-year-old was found to have three holes in his gut caused by the powerful magnetic objects that have been popularized online.
An X-ray clearly showed that in his abdomen were six small balls that his mother Elaine Hambly had bought him for his birthday.
The round, colored magnets are hugely popular toys used as building blocks, and viral YouTube videos that have garnered tens of millions of views show them being formed into impressive structures, such as buildings and animals.
The little boy’s mother described the time Mickey (pictured) spent in the hospital as “the hardest thing” her family had been through. Elaine Hambly (pictured below) is now campaigning against the magnetic beads, warning parents of the damage they can do if abused
An X-ray scan (pictured), performed at Margate’s QEQM hospital, revealed the cause of Mickey’s aching stomach pain: he had six powerful magnets inside him
Mickey with his mother, 29-year-old Elaine Hambly, urging parents NOT to buy the powerful magnets she gave her son on his birthday after he swallowed them and was hospitalized
The youngster underwent surgery at London’s Evelina Children’s Hospital, resulting in a surgery scar (pictured)
The magnetic balls (pictured) “look like the little candies you can put on birthday cakes – they’re hard and colorful,” says 29-year-old Elaine Hambly (pictured above), Mickey’s mother.
Revealed: The dangers of swallowing magnets – and why the NHS wants to ban them
A potentially life-threatening trend on social media involving tiny magnets that can be easily swallowed led the NHS to call for a ban in May.
These tiny magnetic balls are widely sold as creative toys, with a recent TikTok craze showing them being used by teens as fake facial piercings.
In the viral prank, people place two magnetic balls on either side of their tongues and wiggle them, creating the illusion that their piercing is real.
NHS bosses have issued a patient safety warning after at least 65 children were hospitalized for urgent surgery in the past three years after swallowing magnets.
The magnetic objects are compressed in the gut or intestines, compressing the tissue so that the blood supply is cut off.
Taking more than one can be life-threatening and cause significant damage within hours.
England’s top pediatrician, Professor Simon Kenny, wants the magnets banned altogether to prevent further incidents.
They are much more complex than button batteries to take out.
The child will require emergency surgery and, depending on the severity of the injuries, they may need multiple surgeries, bowel resections, and time in the pediatric intensive care unit.
But now, the 29-year-old is warning other parents about the toys’ dangers due to the strength of the magnets and the damage they can cause.
The mother of four from Margate, Kent, said: ‘I can’t stress the parents enough – please don’t buy these. As nice as they look, they are really dangerous and can be life-threatening.
“Unfortunately, children put them in their mouths or pretend to have piercings. They look like the little candies you can put on birthday cakes – they’re hard and colorful.
“The hospital said this wasn’t their first case – they’ve seen a few. They are so strong and have caused serious harm to children.
“I just want other parents to know what could happen. It was a terrible experience for our whole family.’
Since his surgery, Mickey told his mother that he accidentally swallowed the magnets while rolling them in the space where he had lost a tooth because it “felt nice on his gums.”
It was after watching the YouTube videos that Mrs. Hambly bought the toys for her son.
She supervised her children while they were using them but decided to get rid of them when they started sticking to metal objects in her house, but unbeknownst to her, Mickey got hold of the toys and swallowed six of them.
After X-rays revealed the reason for his pain, the boy was rushed by ambulance from Margate’s QEQM hospital to Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, where he underwent emergency surgery to remove the magnets.
Mickey and his mother had to stay in the hospital for a week after the three-hour surgery, but he is now back at home and recovering well.
Mrs Hambly added: ‘I couldn’t believe it. They drew together inside him, forming three holes in his gut.
“He now has a scar and can’t cycle, scooter, swim, play football or even play outside for at least two months – and could have complications with his bowels in the future.
‘We constantly have to go to the Evelina Hospital for a check-up. And if he gets sick or sick or has a fever, we have to take him to the ER.
“It was a terrible time for all of us. Because his father and siblings were with him not knowing what was going on and not being able to see us.
“It was the hardest thing we went through as a family. We want to make other families aware of the effects the magnetic beads can cause if they are swallowed.’
Mickey Hambly (pictured), seven, was left with three holes in his gut after swallowing six strong magnetic balls, made popular by viral videos online showing its use in the construction of impressive structures
The schoolboy was taken to the emergency room by his parents in the early morning hours, where health workers took x-rays of the boy and discovered six magnetic balls lodged in his digestive system — toys his mother bought him for his birthday.
Mickey is back at school, but to his dismay, he is not allowed to play outside with his friends during recess or lunch while he recovers.
Ms Hambly is now keen to raise awareness of the dangers the toy can pose if swallowed.
Since she posted what happened to Mickey on Facebook, several other parents have reached out to her to report similar incidents, she said.
Doctors at London’s Evelina Children’s Hospital, which was undergoing emergency surgery, said Mickey Hambly (pictured) wasn’t the first patient they’d seen swallowing the trendy colored magnets