A new study to be published on Tuesday in the Journal of Neurosurgery has identified the dangers posed by the magnets used in the iPad 2 to the brains of children suffering from hydrocephalus.
The study by researchers at the University of Michigan focused on the effect of the iPad 2’s magnets on shunt valves that are used to help children with hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling.
Researchers found that the magnets can change the valve settings if held within 5 centimetres of the valve, causing a valve malfunction until the problem is recognised and the valve is adjusted to the proper setting.
The study was undertaken after when one of the researchers’ patients, a 4-month-old girl, experienced a shunt malfunction after her mother used an iPad2 while holding her.
Despite their findings, the researchers stressed that the iPad 2 could still be used safely with the same precautions that would normally be employed around other household magnets.