IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

New Jersey boy who swallowed toy magnets needed surgery for holes in intestines

Doctors couldn’t figure out what made 6-year-old Cameron Moreau sick — until his x-ray revealed he ate magnetic balls he received for his birthday, his mom says.

A boy in New Jersey underwent surgery after swallowing a magnet toy he received for his birthday.

Soon after Cameron Moreau received a Sky Magnets kit for his birthday this year, the six-year-old boy got sick and ended up in the emergency room, NBC New York reported. Doctors couldn’t figure out what caused his illness — until Cameron's x-ray revealed he swallowed the small magnetic balls.

An x-ray shows toy magnets lodged inside 6-year-old Cameron Moreau who was hospitalized after eating them.
An x-ray shows toy magnets lodged inside 6-year-old Cameron Moreau who was hospitalized after eating them.NBC4 NY

Jessica Hernandez, his mother, told the station that she didn’t think twice before buying the gift. Hernandez was did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment.

"They're awesome, they're super cool — never in a million years did I think he would put them in his mouth," she said.

Hernandez said she was initially shocked and “didn’t even know how to react.”

His older brother, Casius Moreau, told the affiliate he and Cameron were fighting over the popular toy, and his younger brother told him he put it somewhere no one could find it.

"I turned around and he was just sitting there staring at me with a huge smile on his face. I was like, what did you do? He said, 'Nothing,'" Casius said. "I looked around the room and there was no mess or anything and it was clean, so I said 'Oh, okay.'"

His smile was short-lived.

Swallowing more than one powerful magnet can lead the objects to attract each other inside the intestines, which can puncture holes inside the abdomen that may lead to blood poisoning.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned these magnets for a few years before manufacturers were allowed to use them again in 2016.

According to Hernandez, Cameron’s colon had a total of eight holes. She said doctors had to remove a portion of his colon that had two holes bored closely together.

Cameron Moreau was hospitalized after eating toy magnets.
Cameron Moreau was hospitalized after eating toy magnets.NBC4 NY

NBC News was unable to reach Sky Magnets for comment.

A spokesperson for Amazon, which has the product available on its website, said in an email to NBC news that "sellers are required to comply with all laws and regulations, as well as Amazon's policies."

"If we determine that a seller has violated our policy, we take appropriate action," the company said in a statement. "Amazon prohibits the sale of any small, powerful magnets that do not comply with applicable regulatory requirements, regardless of the age range they are marketed to."

Cameron isn’t the first boy who was rushed to the emergency room after swallowing magnets.

A 4-year-old boy from Indiana made news recently for undergoing surgery after swallowing 27 magnet balls. Last December, a 2-year-old girl from Illinois had her appendix removed after swallowing 5 magnetic balls. And in 2018, a 4-year-old Wisconsin boy had part of his colon, intestine and appendix removed after swallowing 13 magnetic balls.

Hernandez said Cameron was recovering after multiple surgeries and that she was happy the family acted as soon as they noticed something was wrong.

"Had we waited any longer, God only knows what would have happened,” Hernandez said. “I could have lost my baby."

"I want these magnets vanished. Because if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone," she said.