The risks of buying counterfeit toys has been highlighted in a tragic way as a small child has been hospitalised after swallowing magnets.
A week ago, a four year old child was rushed to hospital in the USA after opening up a magnetic block and swallowing 13 tiny magnets. His mother, Jennifer White, has posted a plea to other parents on Facebook:
I feel guilty AF and horrible posting this but I don’t want another child to go through this. If you have little ones or chewers these are dangerous and we’re removing them from our home. Dogs could also break these open, too.
Yahoo reports that the child has had to undergo surgery to remove part of his colon, intestines and appendix. These tiny magnets, which were from a counterfeit version of Magformers, created holes in his intestines. When children swallow magnets, medical help should be sought immediately.
The LEGO Group frequently cites safety concerns as a reason for consumers buying the authentic product rather than clone brand and knock-offs. The problem is prevalent throughout the toy industry, exacerbated by the biggest online retailer in the West having allowed sellers to sell knock-off toys on numerous occasions.
“Our hearts go out to the child and his family as they deal with a counterfeit toy situation that they should have never been put in. Toy safety is the US toy industry’s number one priority and one child hurt from a toy is one too many. The recent horrible incident in Wisconsin, where a young boy was harmed by illicit product, illustrates that counterfeit products are a safety concern and should not be sold anywhere, especially on online marketplaces,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Toy Association, in a statement reported by Toy World.