A KOMO 4 News investigation into Magnetix helped convince the Consumer Product Safely Commission to recall the toys here. But now we've learned magnets have hurt children in Canada too.
The Canadian Health Department just put out a magnet warning last week to: "Keep small magnets out of the reach of young children."
We already know what Canadians are now learning: that more than one magnet can kill.
The King County Medical examiner said magnets from a toy set killed Redmond toddler Kenny Sweet. In fact, Kenny's death prompted the Canadians to launch their own investigation into magnet incidents.
"Our son is gone, this is very serious," warns Penny Sweet, Kenny's mom.
Kenny died in November. His mother rushed him to the hospital with what she thought was stomach flu. To her shock, an autopsy revealed tiny magnets trapped in his small intestine.
The tiny magnets the size of a baby pea attached to one another, pinching and binding the intestine. Eventually, the power of the magnets wore a hole through Kenny's intestinal wall. The tear leaked deadly bacteria into his body.
Back in March, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission issued a recall on three kinds of Magnetix toy building sets, warning that the magnets can fall out.
After Kenny's story, our own investigation found three other children were hurt by Magnetix. The feds know of at least 34 other incidents involving children and Magnetix in the United States.
But Health Canada found almost three times as many incidents. Over an 11 year period, they found 93 cases of magnet ingestion and 3 cases of magnet inhalation involving children under 14.
"When it said 93 cases... Wow! That's a lot!" says Penny Sweet upon hearing the cross-border report.
Health Canada warns parents ingesting more than one magnet can be very serious, or even fatal.
It's something the toymaker, Rose Art and its parent company MegaBloks just recently admitted in a Safety Alert.
When the recall was first announced, the toy maker put out a notice with few details -- just a warning that small magnets should be kept out of the hands of small children.
But on a recent shopping trip to see if retailers are complying and posting the safety alert, we found the safety alert has changed -- it now warns if magnets are swallowed it can be fatal.
That's not all we found. Toys 'R' Us posted the warning, but Target at Northgate did not. We told the manager -- he said it was an honest mistake and we made sure he posted the mandatory alert.
"They're starting to realize young children and parents are vulnerable with their product," insists Penny.
We don't know if any of the magnet incidents in Canada involved Magnetix toys. We've asked Health Canada to find out. We'll let you know what we find out.
The toymaker insists it has done nothing wrong and that it followed toy safety standards.