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Foreign body ingestion in children: a magnet epidemic within a pandemic
  1. Hemanshoo Thakkar1,
  2. Katherine Mary Burnand2,
  3. Costa Healy3,
  4. Erica Makin4,
  5. Joseph Davidson1,
  6. George Bethell3,
  7. Hesham Elagami2,
  8. Alexandra Scarlett2,
  9. Shabnam Parkar2,
  10. Manasvi Upadhyaya1,
  11. Iain Yardley1
  12. On behalf of the Quadri-South East Paediatric Surgeons (QuadriSEPS) Group
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Surgery, Evelina London Children's Hospital, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Paediatric Surgery, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  3. 3 Department of Paediatric Surgery, Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, Brighton, UK
  4. 4 Department of Paediatric Surgery, King's College Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Hemanshoo Thakkar, Department of Paediatric Surgery, Evelina London Children's Hospital, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 7EH, UK; hemanshoo.thakkar{at}

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Foreign body ingestion is commonly seen in children aged 6 months to 4 years—a time when exploring their environment is key to their development. The majority of foreign bodies pass through the gastrointestinal tract without causing any injury and can be managed expectantly. However, certain objects might induce significant harm if not recognised and managed emergently. Coins have been reported to be the most commonly ingested foreign bodies in Western societies.1 More recently, button batteries and neodymium magnets are increasingly being encountered, often with serious associated complications. The 2020 British Association of Paediatric Surgeons winter campaign was focused on button batteries and the life-changing complications they can cause.2 Magnets commonly …

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  • Collaborators Natalie Vallant, Ijeoma Nwachukwu, Abigail Khoo, Louise Murchison, Vanessa Albert, Esko Tahkola, Annita Budzanowski, Rahman Halim, Ionica Stoica, Farazi Virk.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.