A seven-year-old boy suffered three holes in his bowel after accidentally swallowing magnetic toys.

Elaine Hambly has issued a warning to other parents after buying the viral toys for son Mickey for his birthday.

Mickey was rushed to A&E by his parents in the early hours of the morning when he began suffering agonising abdominal pain.

He was found to have three holes in his bowel, caused by the powerful magnetic objects, while an X-ray showed six tiny balls lodged in his stomach.

Mum Elaine purchased the small magnets after watching viral YouTube videos of them being used to build impressive structures.

But now the 29-year-old is warning other parents of the dangers of the toys due to the strength of the magnets and the damage they can cause.

The mum-of-four, from Margate, Kent, said: "I can't stress enough to parents – please do not buy these. As fun as they look, they are really dangerous and can be life-threatening.

"Unfortunately kids are putting them in their mouth or pretending to make piercings. They look just like the little sweets you can put on birthday cakes – they're hard and colourful.

"The hospital said that wasn't their first case of it – they've seen a few. They are so strong and have been causing kids serious damage.

"I just want other parents to know what can happen. It was a horrible experience for our whole family."

Since his operation, Mickey has told his mum he had accidentally swallowed the magnets while rolling them in the space where he had lost a tooth, because it "felt nice on his gum".

The round, coloured magnets are hugely popular toys used as building blocks, with viral YouTube videos showing them being shaped into buildings and animals.

She supervised her children while they used them, but decided to get rid of them when they began sticking to metal items in her home.

Unbeknownst to her, however, Mickey got hold of the toys and swallowed six of them.

After X-rays revealed the reason for his pain, the youngster was rushed by ambulance from Margate's QEQM hospital to Evelina Children's Hospital in London, where he underwent emergency surgery to remove the magnets.

Along with his mum, Mickey had to stay in hospital for a week after the three-hour operation, but he is now back at home.

Ms Hambly added: "I couldn't believe it. They attracted to each other inside him and formed three holes in his bowel.

"He has now got a scar and cannot ride a bike, scooter, go swimming, play football, or even play outside for at least two months – and can have complications with his bowel in the future.

"We have to go for constant check ups at the Evelina Hospital and if he gets ill or sick or has a high temperature we have to take him to A&E.

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"It was a horrible time for us all.

"It was the hardest thing we have had to go through as a family. We want to get awareness out for other families so they can be aware of the effects the magnetic beads can cause if swallowed."

Since posting about what happened to Mickey on Facebook, several other parents have contacted her reporting similar incidents, she said.

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