An 11-year-old boy suffered pain for a week after putting 20 magnetic balls up his penis and didn’t tell his parents.
The ‘curious’ child, from Dongguan in South China, needed surgery on his bladder to remove the eodymium magnet toys known as ‘Buckyballs’.
He suffered from blood in his urine, among other symptoms for a week because he was too afraid to tell his parents.
But it was when they took their son for a check-up at a local hospital where they discovered what he had been up to, according to Li Honghui, chief urologist at Dongguan Children’s Hospital.
The boy, whose symptoms included frequent urination and pain while urinating, was found to have a string of 20 magnetic balls in his bladder, causing painful inflammation.
Doctor Li performed a cystoscopy – an endoscopy of the bladder – during which he was able to count the now rusty magnets in the child’s organ.
The medic said: “But we couldn’t remove a string of 20 spheres through a cystoscopy, so we opted for a minimally invasive surgery instead.”
Doctor Li noted that the urethra was too narrow to remove the Buckyballs without risking further injury.
The string of magnetic toys were successfully removed in an operation the same day, according to hospital reports.
Doctor Lis aid: “Children are very curious about their body as they grow.
“In terms of inserting objects in the urethra, we found the phenomenon in boys of two age groups – five to six, and 10 to 13.”
Doctor Li said children may be too scared to tell family members, so parents have been advised to seek medical attention for their kids if they notice symptoms including frequent urination, pain during urination, or blood in the urine.