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Nine-year-old nearly dies after swallowing magnets for TikTok challenge

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

“Through floods of tears I then had to sign my permission to the operation and to acknowledge that ‘anything could happen’.”

In a TikTok challenge, a nine-year-old child almost died after swallowing small magnets.

Jack McGeoch, from Borestone, Stirling, was rushed to hospital last Tuesday with severe abdominal pain and vomiting.

Carolann, Jack’s mother, stated that an ultrasound examination revealed that something was clogging his gut, with Jack later revealing he had swallowed magnets.

On Wednesday, the child was airlifted to Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children, and by Thursday morning, he required emergency surgery.

Ms McGeoch was advised that her son might die as a result of the magnets staying together through the intestinal wall.

She said:

“It was explained to me that the damage these magnets can cause could be so extreme that he might not pull through. 

“Through floods of tears I then had to sign my permission to the operation and to acknowledge that ‘anything could happen’.”

According to his mother, Jack swallowed a number of tiny Magneto balls as part of a TikTok challenge.

The challenge is unknown, but there are presently a lot of videos on the short-video app showing teens placing the balls into their mouths to create the effect of tongue and lip piercings. 

Jack is still on fluids five days after surgery, can’t walk unaided, and is “all around not the wee boy he was a week ago,” according to Ms McGeoch.

“The surgeons are fighting tooth and nail to have these magnets banned for the damage they can do.

“Jack is lucky to be alive, but if his experience can prevent other kids from enduring the same then I will do everything I can to get the word out there.

“There are videos across social media encouraging kids to do tricks with these but what the videos fail to mention is that ultimately those tiny wee magnets could kill. Very easily.

“Jack’s life has changed forever, let’s stop others from having to go through the same.”

Now his mother wants to warn other parents about the potential danger.

“Parents should just throw these magnets in the trash,” she told the BBC.

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