A mum has issued a warning to other parents after her teenage daughter was rushed to hospital when a TikTok trend she had tried out went horribly wrong.
Kelly Sheldon, 33, is worried that her daughter's internal organs could be permanently damaged after the 14-year-old accidentally swallowed two magnets.
Tia, 14, was trying out the new beauty craze, which involves taking two small magnetic balls and sticking them together on either side of a lip, nose, tongue, or other body part to make it look like a body piercing.
Mum-of-five Kelly said that her daughter had taken two of the colourful metallic orbs and stuck them together through her tongue one day in school, but forgot to take them out when she took a gulp of water, and wound up swallowing them.
Kelly was shocked to hear what had happened, since Tia and her other siblings are banned from TikTok while at home.
But it turned out that, last Wednesday (12 October), Tia was given the magnets by a friend and decided to try out the trend for herself.
“She’s put a silver one on the top of her tongue, and a silver one underneath her tongue, and it clamps to the tongue then and looks like a piercing.
“She’d been walking from one lesson to the other, and without thinking, she’s had a drink of water, and it’s literally just washed down.
“When the school rang me, I thought she’d swallowed a magnet in a maths or science lesson that morning."
After calling emergency services, Tia's mum was advised bring her daughter to hospital pronto so she could get a full body scan.
"We went and got an X-ray eventually, and they were in her lower chest area, touching," recalled Kelly.
“They said as they were touching, she was safe to go home. But we had to return for another X-ray the next day, in case she needed surgery."
Doctors were satisfied that the tiny magnets would likely pass out of Tia's system naturally with time, though they did warn that if the two magnets separated and reconnected for some reason, it could cause problems.
"If the two balls separated, and one travels further than the other but finds a connection again while it’s away, it could pull the organs together and squish them," said the mum.
“And that could easily pierce the intestine or cause a blockage. It’s very frightening.”
While Kelly waits for the magnets to pass through her daughter's system, the hospital gave her a list of symptoms to look out for that could indicate a worrying development in Tia’s health.
Now, the mum is joining the NHS' calls for a full ban on the magnetic toys.
"I don’t think any child of any age should have a magnet. I don’t think there’s any reason for them, I just think it’s a bad idea full stop."