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Parents warned to stop using magnetic toys found to be unsafe

SINGAPORE — Parents who have bought two types of toys for their young children — magnetic building block sets and magnetic balls — were warned on Monday (Sept 2) by a government agency to stop using them immediately, as they are unsafe.

A total of 10 toys have been removed from sale after Enterprise Singapore conducted tests on them and found that they did not comply with safety requirements, the agency said in a media release.

A total of 10 toys have been removed from sale after Enterprise Singapore conducted tests on them and found that they did not comply with safety requirements, the agency said in a media release.

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SINGAPORE — Parents who have bought two types of toys for their young children — magnetic building block sets and magnetic balls — were warned on Monday (Sept 2) by a government agency to stop using them immediately, as they are unsafe.

A total of 10 toys in these two categories have been removed from sale after Enterprise Singapore conducted tests on them and found that they did not comply with safety requirements, the agency said in a media release. Magnetic balls are commonly known as “Buckyballs”, it said.

It said the toys contained magnetic balls, cubes and building blocks, which may contain high-powered magnets, and can cause harm if several are ingested by children, resulting in injuries.

“The tiny magnets can attract each other through the intestines, and potentially result in injuries such as perforation, scarring or infection,” the agency said.

It cited one case in the United States of a four-year-old child swallowing 13 magnets, after a magnetic building block toy broke open, and another case in China of a 14-month-old swallowing 21 magnetic balls. Surgery was required in both cases, it added.

Children under the age of six are especially at risk if they play with these toys unsupervised, it said.

“As the regulatory agency for product safety of general consumer goods, we conducted a surveillance comprising 10 samples of the magnetic toys, which concluded last month. All were found to be unsafe, where the mechanical properties did not comply with the safety requirements by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), ISO 8124-1,” said Enterprise Singapore.

The standard specifies the acceptable criteria for structural characteristics of toys for children aged 14 and younger, such as the shape, size or contour.

The 10 toys included magnetic building blocks with the brands Keaihao, Tensoger, Tongyuan, Zhond Toy and Mag-Fun. There were also five products of magnetic balls, or “Buckyballs” measuring either 3mm or 5mm in diameter. Enterprise Singapore stressed that parents who have bought similar toys should also be aware of the safety issues it has raised.

Consumers can report product safety issues to Enterprise Singapore at 1800 773 3163 or consumerprotection [at] enterprisesg.gov.sg

For consumer safety tips, visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/safety-tips

Related topics

safety children toys Enterprise Singapore injury

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