Mum issues warning after toy she ordered online almost killed her toddler 7 months ago

Mum issues warning after toy she ordered online almost killed her toddler

This is shocking.

We are all relying more and more on online shopping – especially coming up to Christmas.

Better selection, lower prices, it is easy to see why.

However, now one mum issues warning after a toy she ordered online almost killed her toddler.

Sam McCarthy recently took to social media to reveal how daughter Rebecca was left fighting for her life after swallowing 14 tiny magnet balls from a toy bought from eBay marketplace.

With no safety warning and no reason to think the toy – a 3D magnetic puzzle ball – was unsafe, the toddler ended up swallowing them, thinking they were sweets.

However, the magnets linked together inside of her body and ruptured three parts of her intestine, which left her needing surgery to remove them.

"My children are my world and I hate what happened,' McCarthy told Netmums.

'I wish I would have known the dangers. I would have never had them in my house, they detach like fleas and sit around the house waiting and are so hard to see, they are so small.


'Something needs to change before the next story is worse."

The family's terrifying ordeal started when Rebecca suddenly vomited. She and her husband, Steven, thought their little girl had a stomach bug, and after calling 111, visited A&E.

Rebecca, then 22 months old, was given anti-sickness medicine and her blood tests came back clear. She managed to take down fluids and the family went home.

The following morning things were no better and the toddler got to the point where she was unable to move without crying in pain.

She was taken back to hospital where she had an X-ray which revealed the magnets inside of her, 14 miniature magnets inside her intestines.

Rebecca was transferred to Royal London Hospital and the next morning had to undergo emergency surgery to remove them.

'All I could think was, "Is my baby going to be OK?",' McCarthy explained.


"I was a complete mess but had to be strong for her. That night felt like the longest night of my life. I was in a London hospital during a global pandemic and my husband was unable to be with us."

She continues:

"I was so angry and upset with myself that a toy from inside our home could kill my baby. I didn’t know about the danger and damage that these magnets could inflict upon my child."

The mum, who lives in Essex with her family, is now vocal about backing a campaign and petition called Don't Toy With Children's Safety – by the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) – that aims to raise awareness of hazardous children's toys and calls on the government to regulate online marketplaces.

The BTHA, which represents UK-based toy manufacturers, is calling for urgent changes to the law so that children can play without risk of injury or even death.

More than half of toys sold via online marketplaces found to be unsafe or illegal


According to recent research from the BTHA,  48 percent of toys tested from third-party sellers via online marketplaces were found to be unsafe, with the potential to choke, strangle, burn, poison, and electrocute children, an investigation by the organisation found.

In fact, of the 255 tested toys sold by third-party sellers via Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, and Wish, 88 percent of them were illegal, according to the study.

''I'll never not live a day with what we went through and I am so grateful that the awareness is getting out there and people are listening," McCarthy reveals.

"I was once one of the mums that didn't know the dangers with the third-party sellers."

'No legal requirement for online marketplaces to safety check products'

Unlike traditional retail, there is no legal requirement for online marketplaces to check the safety of the products that other sellers are listing on their site.

Instead, it is left to the individual sellers – often based overseas, outside the jurisdiction of UK enforcement – and no one in this supply chain is responsible for checking the safety of a toy before it reaches a consumer’s home.

Natasha Crookes, director of public affairs for the BTHA, told Netmums the organisation found serious hazards in illegal toys, including small easy-to-swallow parts and restricted chemicals.

"It is not acceptable that unsafe and non-compliant toys are simply allowed to enter the UK market, putting children at risk of serious harm.

'We believe the government has to step in to legislate this wild-west of safety and we must see politicians from all sides of the House coming together to protect children as part of the UK review of the product safety framework in 2021."