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Rare-earth magnets: Common sense not included

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(Read caption) One of the first drawings of a magnetic field, by René Descartes, 1644.

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Rare-earth magnets being swallowed by a Florida teen should serve as a warning to parents to periodically review both safety rules and the guidelines of common sense with their kids.

Christin Rivas, 14, had six of the powerful, pea-sized magnets used for car wheel ball bearings, science experiments, and magic tricks with her at school and “inadvertently swallowed them,” according to ABC.

This is not like when Granny tells the anxious parent of a child who just swallowed a penny, “This too shall pass.”

If multiple magnets are swallowed, they may come together in the digestive system and cause damage.

“Magnet-related emergency-room visits among Americans younger than 21 increased five times from 2002 to 2011,” ABC reported.

When I read stories about toy safety and things being swallowed I picture infants swallowing them and not teens and grade schoolers.

As Christmas approaches and parents shop for toys and gifts for older kids, we often ignore the safety warnings on the boxes about small parts that can be dangerous if swallowed because we reckon older kids know better.

In light of this case maybe we should take a closer look, not at the boxes, but at our kids.

We need to take a moment to have a review the common sense rules of life with kids, as they roll their eyes and moan, “Mom, seriously?”

Christin Rivas made it crystal clear that kids get distracted and do unthinking things.


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