First Aid: Swallowing Foreign Objects

Fact Checked

Overview

Children often swallow objects that they are never meant to put into their mouths. In the event that the child swallows a magnet or battery, they should be taken to the emergency room. This can be a serious situation, especially if they swallowed more than one because they can cause internal damage.

Swallowing a Penny

In the event that the child swallows a magnet or battery, they should be taken to the emergency room. This can be a serious situation
In the event that the child swallows a magnet or battery, they should be taken to the emergency room. This can be a serious situation
  • The good news is that most coins, buttons and the like will pass through the child and through a bowel movement in about a week or ten days. However, you should still let your child’s doctor know that the child has swallowed this object. If the child starts to drool, cough or cannot eat or drink, get the child to an emergency room immediately as this may signal that the penny is stuck in the oesophagus. If the child starts choking on a penny, then follow the instructions for what to do when a child is choking.

Putting a Crayon into the Ear

When a child puts a crayon into the ear, they are going to have hearing that is muffled as the crayon is likely to get lodged into the ear. You will want your doctor to remove the crayon to avoid infection or to help ensure that all of the crayon is removed.

Swallowing Foreign Objects Tips and Information

The good news is that most objects that a child were to swallow are eliminated naturally. There are those objects that can be dangerous such as anything that is sharp or magnets or batteries. This can happen to anyone of any age, however, is more commonly found in children between the ages of one and three.

The causes of foreign object swallowing are usually:

  • The object looks like food
  • The child is at a stage that they put everything into their mouth
  • Small toys that the child plays with

The symptoms that are associated with swallowing foreign objects are:

  • Having issues with breathing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

Treating these symptoms include

  • Do the Heimlich manoeuvre on the person:
    • If on someone else:
      • Stand behind the person
      • Wrap your arms around their waist
      • Tilt their person forward
      • Make a fist with one of your hands
      • Place it above their navel
      • Place your free hand over your first
      • Give the hand an upward thrust
      • Repeat until the item is dislodged

On yourself:

  • Make a fist with one hand
  • Place the fist above your navel
  • Bend over a hard surface like a chair
  • Give hard upward thrust until item is dislodged

You should seek medical treatment if the item cannot be dislodged or you feel that there has been damaged done.

In order to prevent this from happening do not give small items to young kids who are likely to put these into their mouths. Also, you should avoid laughing or talking while eating, as this increases the chances of choking.

 

Related Video On Choking

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBsUyDiF_4U

 

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