There’s a lot of people having strange things pulled from their stomachs lately.
First there was the boy who had “dozens of writhing worms” removed from his intestines. Then there was the teenager who stunned doctors after they found 100 bubble tea “pearls” that had accumulated inside her.
And who could forget the Australian woman who discovered her constant tiredness was down to a parasite living inside her. Eww.
Now a six-year-old boy in China has found himself in hospital after he swallowed a series of magnetic balls while his parents weren’t looking.
Not just a few though — there were 61 in total. Talk about crazy.
The boy, who was not named by local news outlet AsiaWire, had reportedly been experiencing intense stomach pains before he was taken to the hospital by his worried parents.
After ingesting the balls — which is a popular kids toy, sold globally — the child didn’t experience any adverse effects until about six hours before he was admitted to the hospital,” Dr. Xu Bo, who treated the boy at the hospital located in China’s Heilongjiang Province, told the publication.
“In scans we found a cluster of high-density shadows. It looked like a necklace. I asked whether he had ever swallowed magnetic balls, and he said yes.”
Bo told the news outlet that the boy’s mother had purchased her son a kit with 64 magnetic balls to play with, 61 of which were later pulled from his stomach in a three-hour operation.
Although he is reported to be in stable condition, Bo reportedly told the news outlet that they had to remove sections of his small intestine and appendix, and that the balls could’ve caused life-threatening damage.
“Had he not been treated in time, these magnetic beads could’ve ruptured his intestine, causing necrosis and shock, putting his life in real danger,” Bo said.
Medical professionals and health officials have long warned against purchasing magnetic balls or toys with button batteries for young children, as the consequences of swallowing these objects can be dire, or possibly even fatal.
Product Safety Australia have warned parents about the dangers of toys containing magnets, stating all toys containing them must come with a warning.
“Magnets can be dangerous to children if swallowed, causing infections and other serious injuries. If a child puts a magnet in their mouth they can choke if the magnet lodges in their throat and blocks their windpipe,” the website states.
“If a child swallows a number of magnets, the magnets can lock together through the walls of the intestines and cause perforations and blockages.”
They recommend that toys with magnets are kept away from young children to prevent injury,
stating if a child does ingest anything with them in to seek “urgent medical assistance”.
In November last year, another six-year-old boy, Mikah Arvidson, was rushed to hospital in Utah after swallowing 14 magnets while playing hide and seek.
His parents, Blake and Aubrey, thought it was odd that their son didn’t want to go trick-or-treating, but figured he had caught a stomach bug.
But in the next 24 hours, his symptoms progressed to nausea, vomiting and increasing pain in his stomach.
On Nov. 3, doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital ran blood work and ordered an X-ray, which revealed 14 magnets clumped together in the little boy’s intestines.
He was immediately rushed in for emergency surgery, where doctors removed the magnets and his appendix, causing the family to launch a GoFundMe page to cover his sudden medical bills.