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Large Magnets and Small Magnets Safety Precautions

Large Magnets Warning

Big magnets have a very strong attractive force. Unsafe handling could cause jamming of fingers or skin in between magnets. This may lead to contusions and bruises. Larger magnets (more than 0.5 lbs) can easily crush fingers and break bones. Safety precaution for large magnets • You should always wear heavy protective gloves and eye protection when handling large magnets. Very large magnets can pose a crushing hazard and should not be handled. • Store large magnets at least one meter away from your body. • Separate big magnets, especially spheres, with a piece of cardboard.

Small Magnets Warning

Children could swallow small magnets. If several magnets are swallowed, they could get stuck in the intestine and cause perilous complications. As long as rare earth magnets are stuck securely inside a toy and/or are too large to be ingested, they can be safe for children to play with. However, if tiny rare earth magnets fall out of a toy or are encased in plastic parts that are small enough to be eaten, then they become dangerous. If a child eats or inhales two rare earth magnets (or one magnet and a piece of metal), the strong magnetic attraction can pull the two small objects together through even internal organs and intestine walls, thus damaging a child's insides. Safety Precaution for Small Magnets • Magnets are not toys. Make sure that children do not play with magnets. • In general, to protect both small children and pets from rare earth magnets, keep track of all rare earth magnets in a home (like push pins and fridge magnets), not just those located in toys.

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About the author

Cathy Marchio

Cathy Marchio is an expert at Stanford Magnets, where she shares her deep knowledge of magnets like Neodymium and Samarium Cobalt. With a background in materials science, Cathy writes articles and guides that make complex topics easier to understand. She helps people learn about magnets and their uses in different industries, making her a key part of the company's success.

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