Children have been risking their health with a new fad sweeping through the playground, where you place two magnetic ball bearings underneath and on top of your tongue to make it look like you have a tongue piercing. Two children so far have been rushed for surgery to remove the ballbearings from their intestines after accidentally swallowing them while taking part in the game. Harry Clarke, 13, and 12-year-old Laila Palmer both needed surgery after their school game went wrong and doctors explained the damage that can be caused to the gut and other organs by the little metal balls.
Doctors are concerned younger children could choke when putting them in their mouth, but an even bigger concern is what happens when several of them are lodged inside the intestines. The calls can attach to each other within the digestive system, literally ripping through the intestines and shredding them with one little boy, 12-year-old Freddie Webster, having 4 inches of bowel removed after swallowing three of the magnets. Consultant paediatric surgeon Sanja Besarovic has warned that swallowing the magnets can be fatal after she treated several children at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust: "The next child may not be so lucky.”
Angry parents have launched a campaign to inform others to keep an eye on their children, and watch our for the little magnets that can be purhcased on Ebay. Laila’s mum Safiya said: “The magnets are so strong that they will literally shred your intestines. People will have these around the house and not realise how dangerous they are. Rather than selling a product with a warning on, should they be selling it at all?” and Harry’s mum Samantha Brinklow added: “After what’s happened to Harry and Laila it seems absolutely mad they are on sale at all.” The children were both from Streatham, South London, and were operated on at nearby King’s College Hospital.