Keeping Your Children Safe from Unnecessary Poisoning
A 9-year-old girl told her mother she justswallow “one red coin.” Her mother took her to the emergency room although she had no symptoms. An x-ray revealed that she had a foreign body in her esophagus. It appeared to be a button battery, but the child insisted she justswallows a coin. If a battery had become settled in the child’s esophagus, she would experience severe injury in a matter of seconds.
While the pediatrician was being called up, the mother placed her thumb and finger in the child’s mouth, claiming she was “trying to remove the battery.” [This is not a recommended treatment because it may cause throat injury, resulting in bleeding and difficulty breathing.] The child gagged and vomited, and two coins appeared.
They were a dime and a quarter stuck together, so they looked like a battery on an x-ray. The child was returned home. The mother was instructed to bring the girl back if she experienced difficulty breathing or swallowing, or if she experienced abdominal pain.
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Prevent Your Kids From Just Swallow Anything
Toothpicks. Twist-ties. The golf ball covers the Pins. Jewelry. Toys. Plastic shards Hardware. Medical supplies. Batteries, of course. And coins – lots and lots of coins.
Non-food items that children swallow may require surgery to remove. According to a recent study, coins accounted for more than 80% of swallowed foreign bodies that required surgical removal.
Button batteries have been identified as extremely hazardous to children’s health when justswallows. The variety of other swallowed objects is astounding. The majority of foreign bodies pass through the system without causing any symptoms or problems.
Some, particularly button batteries, coins, and sharp objects, can cause injury. Children do not always exhibit symptoms after ingesting something that is not food. Chest pain can occur when a foreign body becomes lodged in the esophagus, but not always.
Other symptoms include coughing, gagging, vomiting, and refusal to eat.
Misconceptions of Parents after Just Swallows
Parents often say, “My child would never swallow that.” However, children will swallow anything that fits into their mouths and appears alluring for whatever cause! Adults are frequently unable to determine what those reasons are.
The fact is that children explore their world through touch and taste. They will grab anything within reach justswallow. Anything in their hands ends up in their mouth. This is normal toddler behavior.
Take Care of Your Children
It is best to avoid ingesting foreign objects. Examine your home through the eyes of your child. You’ll notice items that should be moved higher up, out of sight, and out of reach. Of course, it’s extremely crucial to keep a close eye on young children. It’s difficult to keep children safe while also allowing them to explore and learn, but we should try.
Don’t wait for problems to arise if your child justswallows something that isn’t food. Dial 911 for an emergency. If it’s a button battery, seek medical emergency and call an ambulance. If your child swallows a coin or other foreign object, contact your pediatrician.
Of course, if your child appears to be experiencing any type of chest pain, take him or her to the emergency room right away. An x-ray may be required to identify the problem.
You can keep toddlers safe from swallowing objects by:
- Examine your home through the eyes of your child.
- You’ll notice items that should be moved higher up, out of sight, and out of reach.
- It’s difficult to keep children safe while also allowing them to explore and learn, but we must try.
- Sitting down while eating.
- Encouraging your child to chew properly.
- Cutting up foods.
- Avoiding hard foods like nuts until they are 5 years old.
- Keeping small objects out of reach.
- Make sure that toys do not have small parts that can break off.
- Keep button batteries out of reach and secure all remotes, toys, and products containing button batteries.
Things You Should Never Swallow
Some swallowed objects pass through the body without incident and can be found in stools (poo)
These objects rarely cause issues:
- Small pebbles or stone pips
- Stones from fruit
- Teeth (if they have been knocked out)
Some objects can be extremely dangerous if swallowed.
- Large objects longer than 6cm or wider than 2.5cm
- a magnet, particularly two or more magnets
- objects made of lead button batteries (they can burn through the lining of the food pipe causing serious injury or death).
The Bottom Line
Children will justswallows anything they can get their hands on. Mostly, these objects pass through the gastrointestinal tract without incident; the object ends up found in the child’s stool.
Surgery is sometimes required to remove the object(s). In one recent study, coins accounted for 80% of swallowed foreign objects that required surgical removal.