When shopping for gifts for young children, keep this family's story in mind and remember: young children will try to eat anything they can fit in their mouths.
Cameron Moreau is like a lot of curious, active kids, and when the 6-year-old asked for Sky Magnet balls for his birthday this year, his mother approved.
"They're awesome, they're super cool — never in a million years did I think he would put them in his mouth," said mom Jessica Hernandez.
Soon after receiving his present, Cameron got sick and ended up in the emergency room. Doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong until they saw his x-ray — and found his birthday present in his body.
"I was like, oh my goodness. I was just, I looked at him. My face dropped," Hernandez said. "I didn't even know how to react."
So how did the toy magnets end up inside little Cameron? He provided a simple answer.
"I was made at my brother, so I swallowed them," he said.
Turns out, Cameron and his big brother Casius had been fighting over the popular toy, so Cameron put them in a place his brother (or anyone, really) would be able to get them.
"I turned around and he was just sitting there staring at me with a huge smile on his face. I was like, what did you do? He said nothing," 11-year-old Casius Moreau said. "I looked around the room and there was no mess or anything and it was clean, so I said 'Oh, okay.'"
But Cameron would not be smiling later on. His mother said the child had eight holes in his colon, two of which were very close together, so doctors had to take that portion out.
The magnets can actually make holes in the stomach of a child who swallows them. Cameron is far from the first child to do that, with so many kids across the country having swallowed magnets similar to the Sky Magnets. The Consumer Product Safety Commission made a video warning about the dangers.
The video showed how the toys can easily be swallowed by mistake, and then the magnets can connect while inside the body. Back in May, the commission recalled an very similar product under a different brand name called Buckyballs.
NBC New York was unable to reach the manufacturers of Sky Magnets for comment. The toys are still available on Amazon, which said in a statement, "Sellers are required to comply with all laws and regulations, as well as Amazon's policies...Amazon prohibits the sale of any small, powerful magnets that do not comply with applicable regulatory requirements."
Multiple surgeries later, Cameron is now on the mend, saying his stomach now feels much better. His mom meanwhile is happy the family decided to act when they did.
"Had we waited any longer, God only knows what would have happened. Like I could have lost my baby and, I'm about to cry. God only knows," Hernandez said. "I want these magnets vanished. Because if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone."