A Kiwi father and his partner who live in Melbourne have shared a horror story about their son almost dying after he swallowed 30 fridge magnets.

The five-year-old's mother, Christelle Lefau, told Seven News how her son Noah was found curled up on the ground in pain after he climbed up on a chair and ate the small silver balls he thought were lollies that were attached to the fridge.

Noah was then rushed to hospital, where x-rays showed images of the magnets inside his stomach.

A little boy is lucky to be alive after he swallowed 30 fridge magnets which he had mistaken for lollies. Pictured, an x-ray image of the magnets inside the boy's stomach. Photo / Seven News
A little boy is lucky to be alive after he swallowed 30 fridge magnets which he had mistaken for lollies. Pictured, an x-ray image of the magnets inside the boy's stomach. Photo / Seven News

Surgeons spent six hours removing the magnets.

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His father, Fiso Lefau, who lived in Ōtāhuhu before moving to Melbourne, was shocked by the impact of his son eating the deadly objects.

"You don't think something so small would do that much damage," he said.

Ms Lefau said her son could have died had he not been taken to hospital so quickly.

"If it was less than half a day longer he would have died," she said.

"I must confess, I've never seen a kid swallow 30 magnets," Monash Children's Hospital's Dr Maurizio Pacilli said.

Surgeons took six hours to remove the magnets from five-year-old Noah (pictured). Photo / Seven News
Surgeons took six hours to remove the magnets from five-year-old Noah (pictured). Photo / Seven News

"They travel along inside the intestine and they are attracted to each other, so they're trying to get together and by doing this, they can actually create little holes inside the gut.

"We found about 10 or 12 holes, which then we had to fix and stitch one at a time and also we had to remove parts of the intestine."

Noah has fully recovered and has been dubbed "chick magnet" by hospital staff.

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Experts say magnets can be just deadly as button batteries.

KidSafe Australia spokesperson Jason Chambers shared some tips for parents saying: "Have a look when buying toys and make sure any magnets are secure in the toy.

"And if they do come loose, dispose of the toy immediately."