Killer Magnets?

There was recent news article about a child that died because he swallowed two magnets from a toy. Apparently the toy passed the choke
hazard test, but he somehow managed to extract the magnets from it.
Thye didn't say what the actual cause of death was. Is it possible that the stomach acid dissolved the magnets and created poisons from the by-products? Are the exoctic materials used in high performance magnets toxic when chemically altered?
Al
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http://www.ksdk.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid 711
This story, which is probably the one you're referring to, says that the magnets pinched his intestines, caught between multiple magnets, blocking off his digestion.
The general public is so afraid of chemicals yet so generally ignorant. The rare earth metals used in strong magnets would not be attacked by stomach acid, which is a pretty pathetic pH 2 or so (anything still on the pH scale is not very acidic at all). Stomach acid comes up your esophagus when you vomit without significant damage to anything but your teeth over lots of time, which should be a hint. The biggest danger from swallowing objects is intestinal blockage or ripping.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Thanks for the info on the cause. I suppose if he had swallowed them both at the same time and they stuck together, they just would have passed.
You have to watch the little ones and be aware of everything. Tragic, but I would not approve of legislation to ban all magnets. I must have hundreds stuck to various metal surfaces at my work bench. I had extracted them from various dead hard drives, CD-ROM drives and the like.
Al
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