What to Do if Your Baby Chokes on Something
We all have heard of horror stories of kids putting weird things into their mouths. Or even worse -- experienced it ourselves. Be it marbles, magnets, batteries, Legos, coins or even bottle caps; nothing is ever safe from kids. Here’s a guide on what to do if your kid ever decided to take you on a wild ride through Parenting Hell by swallowing something they shouldn’t.
Kids can swallow small objects anytime, anywhere and even when you are (trying your very best) to keep a watchful eye on them. Some small objects will pass through a child’s body without causing harm, but some may get stuck, while others can cause damage to the wall of the gut, or pierce the gut.
So the kid just swallowed something…
If your kiddie swallowed something that’s not sharp or otherwise potentially dangerous and it doesn’t seem stuck in her throat — she’ll probably do just fine on her own by passing the object in her stool and ending up no worse for the experience.
While you wait, and trust us on this — the wait will be excruciating, keep a close eye on her and call her doctor if she starts vomiting, drooling, refusing to eat, running a fever, coughing, wheezing, or making a whistling sound when she inhales.
Give the doctor a call if you don’t see the object in your toddler’s stool in the next couple of days. To check that, put the kiddie’s poop in a strainer and run hot water over it. Yes, it is icky. But that is your kid’s poo, so deal with it.
Love means doing a lot of things, and running hot water over your kiddie’s poop is one of it.
If your kiddie may have swallowed something sharp like a toothpick or needle, or dangerous like a watch battery or more than one small magnet, take her to the doctor right away even if she seems fine. These things may need to be removed rather than allowed to pass because they may perforate your kid’s oesophagus, stomach or intestines.
Off to the hospital we go!
So what will the doctor do once you get your kid to the hospital?
This will depend on what your kiddie swallowed and whether it seems to be stuck. The doctor may take an X-ray to find out where the object is or your doctor might use special tools to make sure the object is not stuck in your child’s windpipe. Most likely he’ll use an endoscope which is a long, thin, lighted tool thingie if the object is in her oesophagus or stomach.
If the doctor thinks that the object will move safely through your child’s system on its own he may tell you to keep an eye on your kiddie and her bowels over the next few days. During this time, he may take additional X-rays to track the progress of the object.
If the object is in your kiddie’s airway or stuck in her oesophagus or stomach – or if it’s dangerous to wait for the object to pass because it’s sharp or otherwise hazardous – the doctor will remove it.
In some instances, surgery is necessary to remove a swallowed object. But that is a worst-case scenario and let’s hope it does not get to that.
Preventing is better than curing right?
We know what you’re thinking right about now. Is there a way, any way, to keep your kid from putting things inside her mouth?
The answer is a resounding: “Not really.”
Putting things in their mouth is what young kiddies do. It is a constant risk for you as their parents until they turn about four-years-old. And even then, things can still get problematic.
Constant lectures about the dangers of swallowing things are also pretty much pointless because young kiddies just won’t be listening to you. In the famous words of Mad-Eye Moody of the Harry Potter series; “Constant vigilance” on your part is the best way to go.
You should however keep in mind which objects pose the highest risk: coins, popped balloons, marbles, nuts, seeds, grapes, popcorn, chunks of meat, and carrots. Anything small enough to get caught in the throat is a potential choking hazard…and by anything, we mean anything. As any small, hard objects like seeds can get inhaled and become stuck in a child’s airway, leading to infection.
Keep an especially watchful eye on your toddler when you’re visiting someone else’s home, where all kinds of enticing and not to mention non-childproof items might be within reach. You’ll also want to make sure that any toys, dolls, or stuffed animals you give your kiddies are safe for her with no small parts that might come off.
It is also beneficial for you, your partner and everyone that might or might not be taking care of your child at certain points to be trained in CPR.
Danger lurks in every corner especially when there are small kiddies around so take a leaf out of Mad-Eye Moody’s book and keep a “constant vigilance” — always!
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