Magnetic balls: life-threatening TikTok trend | heise online


The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is calling for a ban on the sale of magnets as “toys”. The background to this is a current TikTok trend in which teenagers place two magnetic balls on the top and bottom of the tongue to create a “fake piercing”. However, if the beads are accidentally swallowed, there is a danger to life. The NHS has now issued a patient warning.

According to the NHS, at least 65 children have had emergency operations by swallowing magnets in the past three years. The magnetic objects in the intestines would cause an interruption in the blood supply, explains the NHS – swallowed magnets could cause significant damage within hours. Adolescents who use magnetic balls as fake tongue piercings have recently been affected in addition to young children.

On TikTok, the young people in the videos play with the magnetic balls above and below their tongue and move them back and forth like a real piercing, in which, in contrast to the magnets, the two balls are firmly connected with a rod – they are not either Magnets.

Professor Simon Kenny, clinical director for children and adolescents at the NHS, said magnets were fascinating in children, but magnetic toys were not safe and should not be for sale as toys. The only way to prevent such incidents in the future is to ban these articles.

The national patient warning advises that every hospital and general practice should treat cases of swallowed magnets as an emergency. Accordingly, x-rays and referrals to the surgery are urgently required. It is important not to wait for painful symptoms or other signs of illness, but to go to a medical facility immediately.

Most recently, the case of an eleven-year-old caused a stir. He had swallowed a total of five globulesthat were removed in an emergency operation lasting several hours. Several centimeters of his intestines were also removed. An 18 month old Child, 23 magnets were removed, according to the NHS, his twin brother four.

The British Toy & Hobby Association believes that the law should change and stricter toy safety regulations should lead to a change in the design of such toys. Magnets could be provided with large housings so that they can no longer be swallowed.

The TikTok platform recently started marking videos with dangerous driving maneuvers with warning notices. For example, drivers show videos with driver assistance systems that are being used to the max. It remains to be seen whether the trend towards “fake piercings” with magnets will also be given a warning in the future.


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