Northern Ireland pupil who swallowed fake piercing undergoes surgery
Parents are being urged to talk to their children about the dangers of a new fake piercing craze that left a Co Down student in hospital and needing major surgery.
The pupil was recently hospitalised with abdominal complications and required surgery after she swallowed a magnetic tongue 'piercing'.
It is understood the pupil then informed her parents that many of her friends wear the items and have also swallowed the magnets.
The magnetic balls are used by youngsters trying to mimic having a real piercing and are placed on either side of the tongue or cheek to hold them in place.
However the magnets, which are easily available and can be bought online, stick to each other through loops of gastrointestinal tract.
They can cause bowel perforation or intestinal blockage if they are swallowed.
The dangerous magnet craze has been sweeping the UK in recent months with doctors warning that it is putting the lives of youngsters at risk.
Parents at surrounding schools have been urged to take time to advise their children of the serious health risks of buying or wearing these fake piercings.
One parent, who didn't wish to be named, said: "I heard about this and thought it couldn't be real but when I looked online there have been lots of stories about this going on in England and people needing surgery.
"It sounds like something parents definitely need to warn their kids about.
"They probably wouldn't have a clue how dangerous swallowing one of these things could be."