The Toy Association Statement on Magnets in Toys
Magnets can provide a fun and educational component to a toy. Strict federal toy safety standards prohibit the use of certain powerful magnets in any toy part that is small enough to be swallowed and is intended for children under 14 years old.
The U.S. government has banned from children’s products certain small, powerful magnets (known as rare earth magnets) that are sometimes found in executive/desk gifts or other non-toy items. These products were mistakenly referred to by some as “toys.” They were not toys. These items were intended for adults, not for children, and were labeled accordingly. They were not subject to the same strict standards that regulate toys. Other non-toy products such as magnetic bulletin boards and magnetic fake piercings may also use these small rare earth magnets and should not be used by children.
Rare earth magnets pose a serious risk to children if they are swallowed. They should never be given to young children, especially those under the age of three. Kids and teens should be instructed to never put magnets in or near their mouths or noses, as ingestion or inhalation of multiple magnets can pose serious internal injury, infection, and even death. In the event of magnet ingestion, medical treatment should be sought immediately.
This statement was reaffirmed by The Toy Association in September 2018.