Young boy had intestines pulled out of his body through his belly button to remove magnetic balls he swallowed while using them as a fake ‘tongue piercing’

Harry Clarke, 13, from south London, was in the operating theatre for almost four hours at King’s College Hospital after swallowing the balls.

He and his friend Laila Palmer were messing around with the magnets at school.

The pair ended up in hospital beds next to each other at the hospital and both ended up needing surgery, reports Daily Mail.

Doctor’s found the magnets were stuck between Harry’s large and small intestine and the surgery was almost four hours long.

They could only get the magnets out by pulling his intestine through his belly button and searching for the small metal piece.

Schools and hospitals have warned about the magnetic ball bearing craze after several other children were brought into A&E departments across the country having swallowed them.

At least two were left with significant internal damage, as if swallowed separately, the magnets pull through the delicate intestinal lining to get back together.

Children are using them on their tongues, their ears and lips to make it look like they have piercings.

Both parents want to see the magnetic balls banned.

Mrs Palmer said: ‘People will have these around the house and not realise how dangerous they are.’

‘The magnets are so strong that they will literally shred your intestines.’

‘Rather than selling a product with a warning on, should they be selling it at all?’

Parents of older children are being encouraged to raise awareness of the dangers of accidentally swallowing the small magnets, and  schools warned to be aware of the potential dangers presented by this new ‘piercing’ craze.’

Read more: Last year these parents also issued a warning after their two-year-old swallowed the same magnetic balls. Read more HERE.

What to do if your child has swallowed a magnet:

  • If you think your child has swallowed a magnet, immediately seek medical attention by calling your doctor or go to the emergency department.
  • Swallowed magnets can stick together across intestines causing serious infections and death.
  • Don’t assume a swallowed magnet will pass normally.

Share your comments below.

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  • This is an adult toy and shouldn’t be allowed to be played with by a child.


  • Don’t allow kids to play with these or even any magnets or even buy them such things


  • Would have been such a scary experience.


  • So dangerous ! Hope this warning is taken serious by schoolkids !!


  • I knew it was dangerous to swallow magnets but I’ve never even seen these ones.


  • That’s scary. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these magnets. Do kids use them a lot then?

    • They are so tempting for little people. :(


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