With Christmas still fresh in our minds, it’s important for folks to know that there’s an active recall on a toy that their child may have unwrapped just a few weeks ago.

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Recalls play a vital role in preventing injuries, illnesses, and tragic outcomes caused by products that fail to meet safety standards or have manufacturing defects. They serve to uphold public trust in both the companies producing and distributing these products and the government agencies regulating them.

Photo by Hert Niks on Unsplash
Photo by Hert Niks on Unsplash

Unfortunately, recalls have become a routine occurrence, and this time it's impacting children of all ages.

A product recall involves the retrieval and replacement of defective goods for consumers. When a company initiates a recall, it covers the costs of replacing and fixing faulty products, as well as reimbursing affected consumers when necessary.

So, what's the toy in question this time?

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the toy goes by several names: 'Relax 5mm Science Kit,' 'Large Hematite Magnets Magnetic Stones Building Blocks,' or 'Relax 5mm Science Kit, Large Hematite Magnets Magnetic Stones Building Blocks.'

Credit: CPSC.gov
Credit: CPSC.gov

This recall specifically involves 5mm magnetic balls—small, spherical, loose, and separable neodymium rare-earth magnets with a powerful 'magnetic flux.' Sold as a set of 216 multi-colored magnetic balls, the recalled 'Relax Magnetic Balls' were packaged in a clear plastic case and a portable tin storage box, including a black storage bag. They were exclusively available online at Walmart.com and sold by the company ‘Joybuy’ from February 2022 through April 2023.

The hazard identified by the CPSC is as follows:

The recalled 5mm magnetic ball sets do not comply with the requirements of the mandatory federal magnet regulation because the sets contain one or more magnets that fit within CPSC’s small parts cylinder, and the magnets are stronger than permitted. When high-powered magnets are swallowed, the ingested magnets can attract each other, or another metal object, and become lodged in the digestive system. This can result in perforations, twisting and/or blockage of the intestines, infection, blood poisoning, and death.

CPSC reports 2,400 magnet ingestions treated in hospital emergency departments from 2017 through 2021, with seven deaths related to hazardous magnet ingestion, five of which were in the United States.

Joybuy is actively notifying all known purchasers directly.

Consumers are urged to cease using the recalled magnetic balls immediately, keep them away from children, and contact Joybuy to receive a pre-paid label for returning the products and obtaining a full refund.

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