Are Baby Clothes With Magnets Safe? (Learn The Risks!)

Magnets are used in a multitude of products intended for children ranging from magnetic letters on the fridge to toy fishing games to even magnetic snaps on infant clothing. Surely these products that are intended for children and baby usage are safe for them as well, right?

In magnetic baby clothes, traditional snaps and zippers are replaced with fairly weak magnets that are meant to make changing your baby quicker and easier for you and your little one. The magnets used will only lock into place when guided together. They are also stitched into several layers of fabric to reduce the risk of your baby swallowing one.

Read on to find out if any magnets in your home, including some toys, are unsafe for babies and small children as well as our pick for the best magnetic infant clothing.

Are magnets safe for babies?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, is a federal regulatory agency responsible for ensuring the safety of consumer products. Magnets, especially those found in children’s clothing and toys, are heavily regulated by the CPSC.

One of the regulations says that if the magnet fits in the CPSC’s small parts cylinder, it must have a flux index of 50kG2mm2 or less. In other words, if the magnet is small enough to be swallowed by your child it cannot be above a certain strength. This ensures that even if your child were to swallow a magnet it would not be strong enough to cause much, if any, harm.

Most of the safety regulations were created by the CPSC due to injuries related to high-powered “rare earth” magnets. These types of magnets are 8 times stronger than most regular magnets and have sometimes been labeled as “educational” toys for children in the past (though this labeling is now supposed to have been corrected). These types of magnets are designed for building flexible shapes and objects. The main danger in these toys is that they are small enough to be swallowed and have so many in a set that it can be impossible to know if a few go missing.

The reason swallowing these rare earth magnets can be so dangerous is that they can lock onto each other or other metallic objects in the intestines weakening the intestinal wall or causing tears or perforations, even sometimes rupturing the intestinal wall. This is a life-threatening condition requiring surgical removal.

In the years 2009 through 2013, an estimated average of 580 cases of magnet ingestion were treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year with the majority of these cases involving children younger than 12. Many of these cases required surgical intervention, and one toddler died from complications of swallowing rare earth magnets.

So how can you protect your children? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends removing any toys from your home that may contain rare earth magnets and avoiding purchasing magnets in large sets where it may be hard to know if a few are missing.

They also say to look for these symptoms of magnet ingestion:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

If you suspect your child has swallowed a magnet, please seek medical attention or call 911. It may take a few days before any issues arise and by that time damage can already be occurring. Catching magnet ingestion early can help reduce the likelihood of any dangerous consequences.

Are magnets toxic if swallowed?

When magnets are swallowed they can cause several dangerous scenarios.

A magnet could become lodged in the throat, esophagus, or airways especially if the magnet is oddly shaped. Some signs of a lodged object in the throat include:

  • A high-pitched sound when your baby breathes, even if there doesn’t seem to be an obstruction
  • Wheezing
  • Cough
  • Pneumonia
  • Voice changes

The greatest threat occurs if a magnet is swallowed in multiples or if a metallic object is already present in the body. A magnetic attraction is produced between the two magnets in the intestine which can cause bowel obstruction, tearing, or perforation. Your child needs prompt medical attention if this is suspected.

What are magnetic baby clothes?

Anyone who has ever changed a baby’s clothes in the middle of the night or has wrestled an older infant during an outfit change knows how tedious snaps, buttons, and sometimes even zippers can be.

Magnetic baby clothes were designed to help simplify the process of dressing infants by using embedded magnets in the fabric that use the attraction between the magnets to close and secure the clothing. 

Benefits of magnetic baby clothes

Magnetic baby clothes are designed for ease of use. No more misaligned buttons on sleepers and stubborn zippers to mess with.

Simply lay your child down and insert her arms and legs where they need to go and just guide the outfit closed.

A sleep-deprived parent at 3 am could definitely benefit from the simplicity of the design.

Are magnetic baby clothes safe?

Magnetic baby clothes are generally safe for your child to wear. There are no exposed magnets on the clothing to come in contact with your baby’s skin. In fact, the magnets are embedded in multiple layers of fabric to avoid any irritation and prevent any choking hazards.

The magnets used in the clothing are very weak so as to prevent any injuries from the magnets snapping together. They only have enough pull to create an easy closure. As with any product, if you notice any holes or tears you would want to repair those issues and avoid using them until they are fixed to make sure a magnet couldn’t fall out or rub your child’s skin. Follow all laundering directions to help your garment last as long as possible and for the clothing to be able to function properly.

If your child has any implanted medical devices such as a pacemaker or defibrillator in his or her body, contact your child’s physician for further instructions. Though the risk is low, even weak magnets can interfere with these devices.

Are magnets safe to wear?

Magnets are safe to wear for the general population, especially the very weak ones found in magnetic baby clothes. The exception to this would be if your child has had to have certain medical devices implanted in his body like a pacemaker or defibrillator.

Though the risk is low, the magnetic clothing could interfere with the function of these devices. If your child has a pacemaker or defibrillator (or any other questionable medical implant) contact your doctor for further direction.

The best magnetic baby clothes

Magnetic baby clothes are a relatively new phenomenon in the world of infant clothing. Magnets sewn into layers of clothing basically close themselves during diaper changes.

There are a few things to consider when shopping for magnetic baby clothes:

  • Material – For the money you spend on magnetic clothing, you want to make sure the fabric is soft and non-irritating so your baby will be comfortable and happy. Also, take note if the material is 100% cotton so you take care when laundering clothing to avoid shrinkage.
  • Weight – Will your baby be wearing this during hot summer nights or will she need more warmth in the middle of winter. Don’t buy an outfit that isn’t practical for the season that you are in.
  • Placement – Some sleepers have magnets that not only go down the torso of the outfit but also down one leg. This provides extreme ease of changing your little one. Sleepers that only have magnets going down to the crotch area may not be as practical for middle-of-the-night diaper changes.
  • Cost – There are several price points for this type of clothing, though be warned they are pretty pricey in general.
  • Type of clothing – Determine which type of clothing will best suit your needs. Does your baby wear sleepers or onesies most often?

A few brands stand out among the others including e=mc2, Magnetic Me, and Simply Magnetic Me.

Here are a couple of popular options if you want to take a look and prices and features!

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

e=mc2

With a brand name that stands for Easy = Magnetic Close, offers an easier way to change your baby.

Here are some standout facts about the brand:

  • 100% premium cotton fabric.
  • Can put in washer and dryer with a full load. Only dry for 30 minutes and promptly remove.
  • Available at many popular retailers including Dillards, Target, and Buy Buy Baby.

Magnetic Me

The co-founders of Magnetic Me are both parents who wanted to find a way to make clothing changes more comfortable for everyone.

Here are some standout facts about the brand:

    • Offers patented SewSafe construction – “Magnetic Me has a patented magnetic closure system that is hidden and sewn securely beneath our garment plackets.”
    • An extra layer of protection around the magnets when they are sewn into the layers of fabric. The webpage says it would take serious tampering with the product to remove the magnets but to periodically check all seams to ensure safety.
    • Clothing is made of the softest material available.
    • Eco-friendly and sustainable products and packaging.

Simply Magnetic Me

Simply Magnetic Me is the premium GOTS-certified organic line offered by Magnetic Me.

This brand offers the same advantages as the base Magnetic Me clothing, with some additional benefits:

  • Extra soft and gentle on baby’s skin.
  • Uses dyes that conserve water due to a high absorption rate.
  • Purchases are shipped in recyclable, biodegradable packaging.
  • Meant to act as high-quality building blocks for your baby’s wardrobe.

The Magnetic Me brand stands out as the top contender due to its enhanced safety precautions with the SewSafeConstruction. It’s one more layer of safety against the magnets inside that can really ease parents’ minds.

Their footies sleeper looks to be the best bang for your buck and an all-around versatile piece. At $38, it’s not exactly cheap but sometimes you get what you pay for. It comes in an array of colors and patterns to help you find the perfect fit.

Moms, don’t forget to get something for yourselves as well! Try this magnetic nightgown made from the same soft fabric as their infant clothing line to really help ease the nighttime feeds.

All in all, Magnetic Me offers quality products that you can feel good about putting your child in. Pay attention to where the magnetic closures stop when ordering products as some stop at the crotch and some continue down one leg. Also, since they don’t use any flame retardants on their clothing, at certain size/age ranges they have to ensure a snug fit to comply with fire safety standards so be prepared for that.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it with others!