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Toddler swallows 37 magnets, survives

A 3-year-old was recovering Monday at Legacy Emanuel Hospital after doctors removed 37 'Buckyballs' magnets from her intestines.
/ Source: news services

A 3-year-old girl was recovering Monday at Legacy Emanuel Hospital after doctors removed 37 'Buckyballs' magnets from her intestines.

Payton Bushnell complained to her parents of symptoms that resembled the flu, Legacy spokeswoman Maegan Vidal told KGW. Then, they took her in to get checked.

Doctors took an X-ray and found the balls, clustered in her stomach. She was expected to fully recover and was listed in good condition Monday morning. She has been in the hospital since Feb. 21.

The Oregon toddler was fortunate. In 2006 the government warned about risks from magnets used in toys after at least one child died and almost 19 were injured. As a result, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled almost 4 million Magnetix building sets and magnets were included in holiday warnings about dangerous toys. The risk occurs when a child swallows one or more small magnets, which can link together in the digestive tract and perforate the intestines.

Popular Buckyballs are made of powerful "rare earth" magnets -- similar to the recalled children's toys --  but are marketed as stress-relieving desk gadgets for adults. The Buckyballs company issued a statement at the top of its web page Monday morning:

"Buckyballs was saddened to learn that a 3-year old girl in Oregon had swallowed high-powered magnets but we are relieved that she is expected to make a full recovery. This unfortunate incident underscores the fact that Buckyballs and Buckycubes are for adults. They are not toys and are not intended for children. We urge all consumers to read and comply with the warnings we place on all our products, on our website and in stores. Please keep these products out of the hands and reach of all children."

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King5 contributed to this report