Ingestion of small rare-earth magnets (SREM) is a serious, perhaps fatal health concern in youngsters. The US Consumer Safety Commission pulled these items off the market in 2012, but this action was overturned by a federal court judgment in 2016. The current study is to determine if the return of SREMs is linked to an increase in the national frequency of magnet ingestions in children. From 2009 to 2019, data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) were utilized to assess trends in suspected magnet ingestion (SMI) among patients. SMI instances were classified as total, small/round, or numerous magnet ingestions, and trend studies were conducted for two time periods: 2013–2016 (off-market) and 2017–2019. (on-market). Estimates of national SMI based on NEISS-supplied weights and variance factors. From 2009 to 2019, an estimated 23,756 children were diagnosed with SMI, with an annual case increase of 6.1 percent. Between 2009 and 2019, there was a substantial rise in both small/round SMI encounters and multiple magnet ingestion incidents. There was a larger proportion of small/round type SMIs to total SMIs estimated n = 541 from 2017 to 2019, as well as a greater proportion of multiple magnet ingestions to total SMIs estimated n = 797. The escalation of treatment for multiple magnet ingestions increased fivefold after 2017.
The substantial increase of kid magnet ingestions from 2017 to 2019 suggests that regulatory action is now needed to safeguard children and stop these trends.