3-year-old swallows 37 magnets, tears holes in stomach

A 3-year-old needed surgery after she swallowed 37 magnets, KPTV reported.

Payton Bushnell of Portland, Ore., ripped a hole in her stomach and three in her lower intestine after she ate 37 Rare Earth Buckyball magnets, according to the TV station.

When Payton’s parents took her to the hospital, an X-ray revealed that it looked like she had swallowed a bracelet.

“I’m thinking that she kind of put two and two together and thought these look like what we put on Christmas cookies,” said Payton’s mother, Kelli Bushnell. “If we had any idea what they could have done to her intestines, we would have never had them in our house.”

Payton has since recovered – but this is not the first time a child has swallowed magnets. Since 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported 22 cases of children swallowing magnets, according to the TV station.

“I had not read that any child had ever swallowed more than, say, 10, or so,” Sandy Nipper, a registered nurse at Randall’s Children’s Hospital in Portland, told KPTV. “When I heard that 37 of these magnets had been swallowed, it frightened me to death.”

Doctors say that if swallowed, magnets can cause general maladies such as pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

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