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Teenage girls need major surgery after swallowing fake tongue piercings in Nottingham

The fake tongue piercings are easily available and can be bought online. Credit: Nottingham City Council

Three teenagers from Nottingham have ended up in hospital after swallowing small magnets designed to look like tongue piercings.

The girls suffered with abdominal complications, and two of them required major bowel surgery to remove the magnetic parts.

These fake tongue piercings consist of two magnets – one placed on either side of the tongue to hold them in place, to give the impression of a real stud.

Letters have now been sent out to schools across the Midlands to highlight the dangers of swallowing the parts.

The magnets are small enough to not cause a real choking hazard and can pass through the digestive system without complications.

However, if they are swallowed at separate times, the strength of magnetic attraction can cause serious damage to the bowel.

“Our thoughts are with the three girls hurt by these products and we wish them a speedy recovery from their ordeal.

"It’s vitally important that children and parents are made aware of the potentially deadly health risks that wearing these fake tongue piercings can pose.

“As the products have a legal status, our Trading Standards teams are powerless to act against any shops or websites that have them for sale. > "However, we are appealing to all responsible retailers to withdraw them from sale immediately and we are calling on MPs and the Government to ban these products at the earliest opportunity.”

– Councillor Gordon Wheeler, Vice-Chairman of the Communities and Place Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council