Children and Swallowed Objects

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Children can swallow small objects in an instant. What should you do if your child swallows a coin or other small object? Dr. Edward Hill tells us in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Children often swallow small objects such as coins, toys or jewelry. These nearly always pass through the intestines and are eliminated in three to five days without causing harm. It is only a problem if the object gets stuck somewhere along the way, is a caustic material or sharp.

Take your child to the doctor right away if you think he or she swallowed a battery or something sharp. If you think your child might have swallowed something metal, its probably best to see your doctor.

If you think your child swallowed something small that isnt sharp, you do not need to take him or her to the doctor right away. Call your doctor if your child starts to have any of the following symptoms: vomiting, gagging, drooling, not eating, stomach pain, coughing or wheezing.

Sometimes things can get stuck in a childs windpipe without causing any symptoms. Your child should be taken to the doctor within 24 hours, even if he or she seems to be well.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.