Schoolboy nearly dies after taking part in bizarre and dangerous new playground trend
In the latest ridiculous trend to hit the western world, a schoolboy has nearly died after taking part in the newest craze to grip school playgrounds. Not done with the 'Tide Pod Challenge' or the 'Hot Coil Challenge', people are now deciding to swallow ball bearings as humans continue to prove that the concept of evolution may, in fact, be false.
Twelve-year-old Freddie Webster, from Yorkshire, UK, had to undergo emergency surgery after he swallowed the tiny balls. The ball bearings ripped a hole in the lining of his stomach and surgeons had to remove 10cm of his bowel in a four-and-a-half hour operation.
The child had swallowed the 3mm balls after putting one inside of his mouth and the other on the outside of his cheek. The aim was to test the magnetic ability of the balls, with them being known for being pretty powerful in nature.
However, after swallowing the first pair of magnets, Freddie then accidentally swallowed another set five hours later. Once they were in his stomach, the metallic balls began wreaking havoc and the powerful attraction between the bearings led to them ripping through his stomach lining.
Freddie's mom, Sarah, said:
"Freddie had swallowed the first two magnets at school on the Tuesday, and although I didn't know at the time, he then swallowed two more later that day.
"He told me on the Wednesday that he had swallowed two magnets and at that time I thought they would just pass.
"On the Wednesday night he started with stomach ache, but by the Friday morning he told me that the stomach ache wouldn't go away and he said it had kept him awake the night before.
"I rang the doctors on the Friday morning and I told them about swallowing the magnets. They asked how many he had swallowed, which is when Freddie told me it was four."
She was advised to take Freddie straight to A&E and once there, an x-ray showed that the boy had four magnets inside of his stomach. Due to the fact that the bearings had yet to pass through, Freddie was advised by Marcin Kazmierski, a paediatric consultant, that he would require surgery.
"After four-and-a-half hours Mr Kazmierski came out and said that Freddie was stable but very poorly and told us that the next 24 hours would be critical," Sarah said.
"He said as a medical professional he could not believe that he had not been in more pain. When I saw him in recovery he was wired up to drips and Freddie moved his oxygen mask and the first thing he said was 'what about skiing', because he was due to go on a skiing trip with school in March!"
While Sarah made sure to thank the doctors and warn the school about the craze, she said she has gone public with Freddie's story in order to make other parents aware of the risks.
"I feel I am a fairly astute mum but I had no idea what damage these magnets could do. I thought they would just pass if you swallowed them. I want to warn other parents who don't know about them and make people aware of the dangers they can cause.
"I believe they should definitely be banned as they had been in America. These magnets are extra powerful and come in different colours and clearly kids are going to be attracted to them."
Freddie will now have to monitor his bowels for the rest of his life as a result of the incident and agrees with his mother's thoughts.
"I think these magnets should be banned in every country. I know a lot of people who have them and they put them in their mouths, noses and even in their eyelids. I was really worried about the other children in school and if any of them may have swallowed any."
So there you have it, folks: don't put ball bearings in your mouth. Goes without saying really, doesn't it?