A mom from Wisconsin took to Facebook to share the frightening series of events that occurred over the holidays in an effort to give other parents a heads-up about the toy.

By Maressa Brown
January 02, 2019
doctors performing surgery
Credit: Thierry Dosogne/Getty Images

January 2, 2019

A mom from Wisconsin is asking other parents to be more vigilant about toys that could quickly become a life-threatening health hazard for their kids. Jennifer White told her Facebook followers that she felt "guilty AF and horrible" sharing details of the incident over the holidays, but she didn't "want another child to go through" the same thing. White explained that her son Beck broke open a magnetic building piece toy and swallowed 13 tiny magnets, ultimately needing surgery to remove part of her son’s colon, intestines and appendix.

"If you have little ones or chewers these are dangerous, and we’re removing them from our home," she wrote. "Dogs could also break these open too." 

White told FOX6 News that it was on Christmas Eve that she noticed the 4-year-old "wasn't feeling very well." "I thought he had caught the flu,” White said. “He did start to vomit and it was a very dark color and at that point… we knew that there was something going on.”

Beck was operated on at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa. There, doctors told White that the magnets created holes and an infection in his intestines. “The magnets appear to be stacked on top of one another," White explained. 

Thankfully, on December 27, White shared a positive update: "Never in all of my life have I had the support and unbelievable generosity of so many people. I’m still in complete awe. Beck is doing well and mostly sleeping which is good cause it will be easier to rid the infection in his stomach. When we left for Milwaukee I left with my purse and my jacket. His stay will be at minimum four days and our family is over an hour away."

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns pediatricians and parents about magnetic toys, which, if ingested, can cause serious and life-threatening damage to the digestive system. Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting and fever. There are multiple brands that sell toys similar to the one that Beck swallowed, so it's important for parents to take this warning into consideration when it comes to any magnetic toy. 

“I don’t want another mother or father to go through this. It was such a simple toy,” White told FOX6. “We had made sure that he was old enough, the age on the box, I chewed it myself. It sounds crazy but I have special needs children and sometimes you need to go a little extra and I did those things to make sure… If you have them in your home make sure you know when they’re being played with, don’t let the kids have them by themselves."