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1700 emergency room treatments for ingestion of small magnets occurred from 2009 through 2011 according to the CPSC, which gets its information directly from hospitals. Similarly, my numbers for balloon ingestion also came directly from CPSC.

Your data comes from The Huffington Post attempting to recap a CBS News report. Mine comes directly from the CPSC Proposed Rule, which includes methodological information. What's happening, it appears is that CBS is reporting a single sample set number, and not an epidemiological conclusion. Which is another reason I'm happy that CPSC does this work and not, say, HuffPo.

I can't reply to your other comment about reading the actual proposed rule, but I just read through it and this is what I found:

> Reported incidents involving children continued to increase unabated from 8 cases in 2010, 17 cases in 2011, and 25 cases in 2012 (as of July 8, 2012). Twenty two incidents were reported before the PSA; 28 more followed during the eight months after it. A high percentage of the injuries resulted in surgeries or other invasive procedures. Of the 50 reports known to staff, 22 required surgery, and 10 required either invasive procedures such as endoscopies or colonoscopies. In 2011, and into spring 2012, staff continued to identify additional firms offering this product on the Internet with labeling and marketing violations.

It seems that 1,700 number consists mostly of cases where children visited the emergency room, were treated, and sent home, with no surgery required. This means your earlier statement:

>In the same year, more than 500 kids were treated in the emergency room for ingesting small rare earth magnets; according to the APA, "almost every one" of those cases required endoscopic surgery

Is incorrect. The number of incidents that required surgery is very low--in the double digits.

I think this argument has reached a stalemate. I'm obviously not going to change your point of view, and I concede that you are entitled to your own opinion and I can't fault you for it. However, I am glad I am able to make my own case and go on the record that I feel this is a case of selective enforcement that will achieve very little when it comes to children's safety.

The latter statement about cases requiring endoscopic surgery comes from the American Pediatric Association.

I looked up the info on the CPSC website myself:


>Reports of incidents involving these high-powered ball-bearing magnets have increased since 2009. Specifically, CPSC received one incident report in 2009, seven in 2010 and 14 through October 2011. These 22 incidents have involved children ranging in age from 18 months to 15 years old. Of the reported incidents, 17 involved magnet ingestion and 11 required surgical removal of the magnets. When a magnet has to be removed surgically, it often requires the repair of the child's damaged stomach and intestines.

Hardly 1700 emergency room visits.


I think this focus on the numbers is silly. One incident is too many, and even if no children had ever been harmed it would still be important to properly educate the people about the dangers of the product. But I do believe that a wholesale ban is using a shotgun as a flyswatter. It doesn't solve the root problem (uneducated parents or inattentive parenting). Why not focus on making sure the public informed about the dangers of all kinds of products that could potentially harm their children, rather than trying to ban them one by one? It just seems like the wrong way to go about this.

Again: you're reading a different number. The CPSC runs a nationwide statistical survey; you've cited a data point, and I'm citing the epidemiological statistic. Don't read the press release, read the proposed rule, which goes into detail not only about where the 1700 number comes from, but about all the other magnet ingestion incident data that they decided not to include in this figure.

Can you share the URL you're citing?

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