A Rossendale GP has issued a warning as a ‘dangerous’ TikTok tongue piercing trend among children resurges in popularity.
Irwell Medical Practice, based in Bacup, said it had received reports last year that children were swallowing magnets by accident while attempting to replicate the trend on TikTok.
While reports later ‘slowed down’, the general practitioner has said it has started to receive reports of a similar nature once again.
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Last month, a 12-year-old girl was sent to hospital after swallowing magnetic balls and may need major surgery to remove the balls – including having a portion of her bowel removed altogether.
While the young girl denied taking part in a viral trend, the TikTok craze sees children place two magnetic balls on either side of their tongue to create the illusion of a real piercing.
A 13-year-old girl required a six-hour operation in May this year after trying to copy the trend, while a 11-year-old boy also required emergency treatment in the same month.
Now, Irwell Medical Practice has issued a warning to parents in a bid to ‘save unnecessary deaths’ following a further rise in the online trend’s popularity.
In a statement, the general practitioner said: “Last year our local safeguarding team was contacted by the Specialist Safeguarding Practitioner from East Lancashire Hospitals regarding children ingesting magnets.
“There was a huge craze on TikTok showing children putting magnets on either side of their tongue to show them how a tongue piercing would look.
“It was then found that some of these children were ingesting the magnets by accident and due to the powerful nature of 2 magnets together there had been a number of deaths.
“The Specialist Safeguarding Practitioner asked the safeguarding team for help in contacting local high schools and primary schools to highlight the problem with the hope of reducing deaths or unnecessary radiation following numerous x rays.
“The number of children presenting slowed down however it seems to be apparent once again.
“We are sharing this to make all parents aware of the dangers of this in the hope that it will save unnecessary deaths.”
Earlier this year, NHS officials said that at least 65 children had required immediate surgery in the last three years after swallowing tiny magnets
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