What was meant to be a little pre-holiday fun between friends ended up landing an Illinois sixth-grader in the hospital — and it’s serving as a warning to parents.
The girl, 11-year-old Halina Adams, was playing with a child’s toy at her school Thursday after a friend handed her some Bucky Balls, according to WGN-TV.
Halina’s dad, Aaron Adams described how his daughter ingested parts of the metal toy:
“She put them on her lips… one on either side… They slipped off, and the action of them coming together sent them to the back to her throat and she swallowed them.”
That’s when those two Bucky Balls got jammed inside of Halina’s intestine.
The girl was rushed to the hospital.
Dr. Vincent Biank, who treated Halina at Evanston Hospital, said the magnetic balls could wreak havoc on the body, explaining they can cause kinks and perforations if they connect two pieces of tissue together.
Dr. Biank explained to WGN-TV how severe the complications can be:
“This is a medical emergency. If you perforate the GI tract you can get very sick very quickly. It would kind of be like a perforated appendix. You can get incredibly ill, almost life-threatening ill.”
Halina endured two colonoscopies and spent five days in the hospital waiting for the balls to pass from her system.
The girl’s father said that his daughter’s accident has opened other parents’ eyes to the toy’s danger:
“Since this happened, I’ve heard from a number of friends and parents, ‘My kid has them had no idea … I got my kid this for Christmas. And now we’re taking it out from under the tree.”
WGN-TV reported that in 2012, the popular toy magnets had previously been banned after other children had been sickened or died after swallowing them. But through a lawsuit, the company was able to sell the toys once again in 2016 — after warnings were added to the package and the company’s website.
But parents should also be on high alert about other objects commonly found during the holiday season.
As Dearly previously reported, one toddler recently came close to losing a finger after it got caught inside an innocent-looking jingle bell. Luckily, the bell was safely removed with surgery.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital doctor Brad Warner told KMOV about a few other dangers to watch out for over the holidays. The two most common and potentially severe injuries include swallowing toy batteries and magnets.
Watch the father discuss his daughter’s close call below: