Swallowed magnets land Lincoln teen in hospital

LINCOLN, Neb (KOLN) - A Lincoln middle school student is at home recovering after she had surgery in Omaha.

(Source: KOLN).

Her mom is now warning other parents about a current and dangerous "trend" among kids.

Danica Canaday says it all started with her daughter getting magnets from classmates, who were all putting them in their mouth like tongue rings.

But when she accidentally swallowed them, that's when the "fun" took a turn.

She says last Thursday, she came home from school saying she accidentally swallowed two magnets.

"They were putting them in their mouth, and pretending that they were tongue piercings,” said Canaday.

X-rays, taken days apart, show the magnets moving through Olivia's body.

After multiple doctor visits and a 105 temp, Danica eventually took her to Children's Hospital in Omaha for surgery.

"What happened with Olivia, is they got stuck and wedged somewhere in her colon,” said Canaday.

Canaday says they are "neoballs,” or neodymium magnets, which are meant for art or educational purposes.

You can buy them in packages, costing you anywhere from $2.50-85 bucks depending on how many you buy.

And when you go to the website, the first thing that pops up is a warning, saying the magnets may cause fatal intestinal pinching if swallowed.

"They just aren't thinking about the ramifications of what can happen,” said Canaday.

She says a nurse at Children's told her that Olivia was the third middle-school-aged kid who swallowed magnets on her floor, just this week.

"Just talk to your kids, ask if they have seen other kids doing this, you know, tell them don't put these magnets in your mouth,” said Canaday.

Danica says after telling the Scott Middle School principal, he decided to confiscate the magnets from students and teachers who had them in their classrooms.