Child ingests magnets from toy, loses part of colon, intestines

APPLETON, Wis. — His parents thought he just had the flu, but it turns out a little boy ate magnets from a toy and has since had to have part of his colon and intestine removed due to the damage the magnets caused.

Jennifer White said her 4-year-old son, Beck White, got sick about a week ago, around Christmas. The color of his vomit led Jennifer White to suspect it was much more than the flu.

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An X-ray showed Beck, who has autism, swallowed magnets from a magnetic building toy -- 13 in all, WTMJ reported.

His parents didn’t realize that Beck had eaten the magnets after snapping the toys apart.

Jennifer White said the magnets cut holes in his intestines as they tried to connect to each other, through his organs.

"I really thought these were safe. Absolutely thought that he would be OK. If I had any inkling that this would have happened, I would have just got rid of them," Jennifer White told WTMJ.