Management of ingested magnets in children

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2012 Sep;55(3):239-42. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182687be0.


We describe a comprehensive algorithm for the management of ingested rare-earth magnets in children. These newer and smaller neodymium magnets sold as adult toys are much stronger than the traditional magnets, and can attract each other with formidable forces. If >1 magnet is swallowed at the same time, or a magnet is co-ingested with another metallic object, the loops of intestine can be squeezed between them resulting in bowel damage including perforations. An algorithm that uses the number of magnets ingested, location of magnets, and the timing of ingestion before intervention helps to delineate the roles of the pediatric gastroenterologists and surgeons in the management of these cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms*
  • Child
  • Deglutition*
  • Eating
  • Foreign Bodies / complications
  • Foreign Bodies / surgery
  • Foreign Bodies / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Perforation / etiology
  • Intestinal Perforation / prevention & control*
  • Intestinal Perforation / surgery
  • Intestines / injuries*
  • Magnets*
  • Neodymium
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*


  • Neodymium