Today’s Children in Crisis: YOYO

Predictive Modeling on COVID19 in U.S. from NYTimes: How Much Worse the Coronavirus Could Get, in Charts

Modeling comments from Nate Silver: It’s important to keep in mind that many of these models describe projections *without* changes in behavior. This is mentioned in the article (good for NYT, a lot of articles omit this context). So behavioral changes and testing are key. I slightly worry that some of the headlines contribute to a sense of fatalism, when the real message is more like “this is probably gonna be bad, but it could be considerably less bad if we get our act together and much worse if we don’t.”

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Besides the current outbreak, what else has been happening to children:

So, is it surprising at all that there is no interest in limiting products shown to be dangerous for children?  Today’s children are being told: ‘you’re on your own’ (YOYO)

An ongoing concern for pediatric gastroenterologists, magnet ingestions, was highlighted in a Politco report -thanks to Ben Gold for sharing this report: Toddlers eat shiny objects….

Here are a few excerpts:

Once ingested, high-powered magnets find each other inside the body and shred any tissue, such as bowel, trapped in between….

In early 2012, this coalition [led by NASPGHAN] approached the Consumer Product Safety Commission with one simple ask: eliminate these high-powered magnet sets from the market…the agency ultimately recalled high-powered magnet sets …

One company, Zen Magnets, remained unconvinced, and sued the CPSC, fighting… the recall on existing magnets…

The rule [ban] set was struck down by two judges on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals with the deciding vote cast by now-Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. These judges ignored the expertise of the CPSC epidemiologists and economists; ignored the compelling medical testimony, overwhelming expert evidence and dire safety consequences and substituted their own opinion in favor of promoting “government restraint” on regulating industry…

The nation’s poison control centers recorded six times more magnet ingestions―totaling nearly 1,600 cases in 2019 alone—after the 10th circuit court decision allowed magnets back on the market…

The article details how the CPSC’s change in regulation has also led to deaths related to delays in recalling faulty infant inclined sleeps, with defective RZR All Terrain Vehicles, and the mismanaged recall of IKEA’s Malm dressers.

A related article was published in USA Today this week by Dr. Bryan Rudolph: Children can easily swallow high-powered magnets, it’s time to ban them for good

My take: What’s next up for our children? Outlawing lifeguards for pools? Repealing seat belt laws?  Perhaps it won’t matter –there are so many bigger threats that are not even on the radar.  YOYO.

Related blog posts:

Image from Politico

Hazardous Toys: Jarts and Magnets

I had completely forgotten about Jarts until reading a recent editorial by Athos Bousvaros (J Pediatr 2017; 186: 6-7). He succinctly describes how these lawn darts were ultimately removed from the market primarily due to the advocacy of a father who became a strong advocate after the death of his daughter.

A more complete description of the effort to remove Jarts -from Mental Floss website: How One Grieving Father Got Lawn Darts Banned

Dr. Bousvaros, in commentary on a study on high-powered (neodymium) magnets (Rosenfeld D et al. J Pediatr 2017; 186: 78-81) describes the similarities between these magnets and the jarts.  Both have caused catastrophic injuries and death.  However, the recent removal of these magnets from the market was overturned.  There is no national tracking system for magnet ingestions in U.S. or Canada.  However, the referenced study demonstrated a dramatic reduction  in medical/surgical procedures in 2014-2015 (n=10) when a ban was placed compared to 2011-2012 (n=29).

For U.S physicians, all we can do currently is to report to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) all magnet-related injuries and to publicize the dangers of these hazardous products.  To report: go to CPSC website (link: CPSC website) and “report an unsafe product” on the right side of the page.

Related blog posts:

More on magnet ingestions

Magnet ingestion has been a popular topic this past week on the pediatric GI listserv and follows a recent post on this blog as well (Magnet ingestion –urgent removal needed).  Two useful links are listed below: