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'Nightmare': Mother's Warning After Son Swallows 13 Tiny Magnets From Toy

A mother has made an impassioned warning to parents after her son swallowed 13 tiny magnets from inside a toy. 

Four-year-old Beck was rushed to hospital in Wisconsin after he broke open a magnetic toy a few days after Christmas.

"Beck broke open a magnetic toy and has 13 tiny magnets inside him," mother Jennifer White posted on Facebook.

"I feel guilty ... and horrible posting this but I don't want another child to go through this."

White told Fox6 News she noticed Beck was unwell on Christmas Eve but put his symptoms down to the flu.

"He did start to vomit and it was a dark colour and at that time ... we knew there was something going on."

The magnets had formed holes and infection in Beck's intestines, prompting  surgery to remove part of his colon, appendix and gastrointestinal tracts.

He is being monitored for infection in hospital.

“Beck is doing well and mostly sleeping which is good because it will be easier to rid the infection in his stomach,” White later shared on Facebook.

"This is a nightmare and to have this happen is heartbreaking in more ways than you can imagine unless you live it."

"I'm not a perfect mother but I try my damnest to be and I do feel I failed Beck."

The Facebook post has since gone viral, with many social media users commending White on speaking out.

"Please don't blame yourself for the manufacturer making a dangerous product," one person said on Facebook.

"I almost gifted these to my nephew. There was no way to know they were dangerous.

"And now that you do know you are doing all you can to prevent others from having this issue."

"This could happen to anyone!" said another.

But White said the "pitch forks and torches have come out".

"If I can change this outcome for one single family then nothing else matters," she wrote.

She also said she was aware of three other cases of magnets being ingested since her son was admitted.

READ MORE: Safety Warning After Girl, 6, Dies Playing With Skipping Ropes

The risk small magnets pose to children is often unknown or misunderstood. If two or more are swallowed, the attraction can be strong enough to tear a hole in the intestines when they connect, causing serous infection and death.

Parents are warned to seek medical attention if they are swallowed or inhaled.

Mandatory standards in Australia state packaging and instructions for toys including a hazardous magnet or magnetic component must include a warning.

Contact the author ebrancatisano@networkten.com.au

Featured image: Jennifer White / Facebook