A 9-year-old boy had to undergo a life-saving stomach surgery after swallowing some beaded magnets after copying what he saw from the popular TikTok magnet challenge.
Jack Mason complained of pain in his stomach and confessed to his mother, Carolann McGeoch, that he ate some silver magnets because he did the TikTok magnet challenge. The viral videos had kids putting the silver beaded magnets on their mouths because it looked like cool tongue piercings.
However, after Jack started vomiting, his mother rushed him to the hospital for emergency surgery. According to reports, pieces of magnets were lodged in the 9-year-old boy's abdomen, blocking his body's bowel movements. Parts of his small and large intestines were also damaged.
Doctors initially told McGeoch that her son might not pull through because the damage caused by the magnets to his stomach was so extreme. The mother said she was in tears as she signed off on the operation, knowing that "anything could happen" to her son.
Miraculously, Jack's surgery was a success, and the mother acknowledged that he was lucky to be alive. However, the boy will still face a long road to recovery as he's still on a liquid diet and cannot walk without any assistance.
The family is sharing their story to warn others about this dangerous viral game. Jack's school issued a warning to the PTA to ensure that many parents warn their children or look for magnets in their things, which should be disposed of properly.
In a statement, TikTok told BBC that they don't allow videos that "encourages, promotes, or glorifies behavior that might lead to injury." The company also said that they have a team that applies measures to remove such content. However, the TikTok magnet challenge started in the summer, and there are still videos spreading on the platform even today.
In May, a 13-year-old girl had to undergo emergency surgery because beaded magnets were stuck in her appendix and other internal organs. In June, an 11-year-old boy, Ellis Trip, had to go through two emergency surgeries after he swallowed five beaded magnets.
His parents did not know how he discovered the TikTok challenge since they thought their son had no TikTok app. However, her son's school searched for the students and found some magnetic beads in their things. His mother, Amy, shared on her social media to inform her followers about the dangers of swallowing beaded magnets.
Where They Get Beaded Magnets
Kids can spend countless hours playing a popular educational toy known as Magneto Balls or Magneto Beads, which allows them to put together different figures. While this toy hones their creativity, the ball is only the size of a matchstick head.
In June, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital shared a PSA about the magnets. Doctors on TikTok, on the other hand, have also created videos to tell users to stop doing the dangerous challenge as the outcome will not be fun.
Warning:Families, be aware of a TikTok challenge where kids pretend to have tongue piercings by placing magnetic balls on their tongue. This is potentially deadly if they accidentally swallow them. Revisit the dangers of high-powered magnets & talk to your kids about the dangers. https://t.co/fUeQfeiyqj— Cincinnati Childrens (@CincyChildrens) June 18, 2021
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