THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Emergency department admissions for pediatric magnet ingestions track federal rule changes strengthening or loosening industry standards, according to a research letter published in the Nov. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Michael R. Flaherty, D.O., from the MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, and colleagues used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (2009 through 2019) to assess magnet ingestions in children (17 years of age and younger). Comparisons were made for 2009 to 2012, before the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) limited sales of high-powered, rare-earth magnets as toys; 2013 to 2016, during increasing CPSC regulations; and 2017 to 2019, after the CPSC rule was vacated.

The researchers identified 36,701 emergency department visits for ingested or aspirated objects; 1,421 visits were for ingested or aspirated magnets. Visits were highest for children ages 5 years and younger. Emergency department visits decreased following 2012 CPSC involvement, from an aggregate mean of 3.58 per 100,000 persons to 2.83 per 100,000 persons in 2013 to 2016. The mean emergency department visit rate increased again from 2016 to 2019 to 5.16 per 100,000.

“Effective prevention of magnet-related ingestions can be achieved with industry regulations, as evidenced by the now-remanded CPSC safety standard,” the authors write.

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