Parents warned after child nearly dies doing TikTok challenge

A mum is warning other parents after her nine-year-old son nearly died after taking part in a TikTok challenge.

Jack had to undergo 'serious and life-changing' surgery to remove two magnets blocking his bowels, reports the Mirror.

The social media challenge involves placing two tiny magnet balls on each side of the tongue to look like a tongue piercing.

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The balls are then moved around to give the illusion that it is real.

Mum, Carolann explained how her son was admitted to hospital after experiencing pain in his abdomen and uncontrollable vomiting last Tuesday.

After being admitted to Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, the following day, X-rays showed that he had tiny bits of metal blocking his bowels.

After inspection, it was discovered that these were in fact magnets.

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Carolann said: "It was quickly discovered that these were magnets and, after a bit of probing to get the truth, Jack admitted that he had swallowed these."

The following day, doctors spoke to Carolann to inform her that the matter was urgent.

She said: "Not realising the extent of what was going on, it was explained to me that these magnets needed to be removed urgently but that it wasn't a straight forward operation."

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She was given three possible scenarios for the surgery, one of which being to remove the magnets and the bowels and depending on the severity of the damage, fit a stoma bag.

Carolann was warned that the extent of the damage may be catastrophic and the surgery was complicated, so he may not pull through.

She was told to be prepared that anything can happen, and was asked to sign her consent "through floods of tears."

After a four hour agonising wait for the surgery to be completed, Carolann was informed of how Jack was doing.

She said: "My funny, outgoing, healthy nine year old had been affected that badly that he has lost his appendix, his small bowel and 30cm of his large bowel.

"We are now day five post op and Jack is still solely on fluids, unable to walk unaided and all round not the wee boy he was a week ago.

"The surgeons are fighting tooth and nail to have these magnets banned for the damage they can do."

Carolann has asked the school to educate children on the dangers of these challenges that can very easily lead to live changing injuries and death.

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Sadly, Jack is not the only child to have been hospitalised over these magnets.

The NHS has issued an alert after least 65 children were admitted to hospital for urgent surgery in the last three years after swallowing these magnets.

In one instance, twin toddlers were hospitalised in Cambridgeshire after ingesting these lethal magnets.

One of the twins had swallowed 16 of them, which had caused the bowels to twist.

When swallowed, the balls clump together in the intestines or bowels and cause the tissue to squeeze together, which shuts off blood supply.

NHS England top doctors are calling for these magnets to banned, and warn that ingesting more than warn can cause devastating damage within hours.

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