AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Children imitating adults often appear to indulge in harmless fun, however at times these activities have more serious implications. The recent fashion of body piercing among adults has encouraged children to have similar procedures or imitate them by applying small magnets to sustain the jewellery used in piercing in position. This paper describes a series of 24 cases presented to the Sheffield Children's Hospital over a period of eight weeks. The children imitated body piercing by using small powerful magnets across parts of their body including nose, ears, penis, and tongue. Some swallowed the magnets while attempting to use them, resulting in one near fatal surgical complication. The paper describes the details of the patients, the procedures used to detect the magnets, and the management of the different complications encountered.
Children have always tried to imitate adults, sometimes in an attempt to appear more grown up. The recent fashion for body piercing has already been recognised to cause problems in accident and emergency (A&E) departments (1) and we now present problems caused by the imitation of body piercing by children. In Sheffield a situation arose where children had obtained small (7 mm x 4 mm x 1 mm) magnets that were powerful enough to be self supporting when placed across parts of a child's body, thus allowing imitation of ear, nose, tongue, cheek, and genital piercing. Unfortunately this children's game resulted in a number of hospital attendances and one case requiring urgent surgery and intensive care.
Over a short period from 13 April to 20 April 2000 at the Sheffield Children's Hospital we had five children present with magnets adhering to their body. This was followed by another period from 8 May to 3 June when we had a further 19 children present with magnet related problems, 10 of these children presented over two consecutive days. The details of these cases are listed in table 1.