Just the other day I watched my 6-month old niece steadily reach for a tiny speck of dirt on the floor. I had to quickly jump in to stop her from putting it into her mouth. This incidence reminded me of the time my sister swallowed (or was it ate?) a cockroach when we were much younger. My son was also not any better when he was little. I never could quite understand how, like some kind of Inspector Gadget, he always managed to spot the tiniest of specks which would have otherwise been invisible to my eyes.

Ofcourse once in his hands, these specks had no other destination but his mouth. There was therefore the need to constantly keep the floor spick and span.
Now asides from the dirt particles, almost every other thing has a way of making its way into the mouths of babies, toddlers and young children in general. I remember the day I gave my son a closed bottle of sanitizer to pacify him while driving in the car. Silly me, right?…Because before I knew it he had somehow managed to get the bottle open and was trying to taste it.
Besides these, there are so many other things children have ingested. I have seen a child eating grass before. I have seen perfectly smooth crayons suddenly become rough along its edges. Bath water also appears to be another major attraction and on and on the list goes.

Asides from swallowing, these children also stick some of these unusual objects up their nostrils or through their ears. There is actually a museum in a children’s hospital in Boston which displays a range of weird objects removed from patients. They have objects ranging from a sardine can key to a doll’s hand to chicken claw, etc. Other unusual objects that have been removed from other children include batteries, rings, scissors, screwdriver…yes, screwdriver…etc.

Since when children are really little there is very little we can do to stop them from exploring their environment, the best we can therefore do is to keep everything dangerous out of reach. As they grow from babies into older children and become presumptively wiser, it is still important that the more dangerous objects like batteries, scissors, etc. are kept out of reach. Cleanliness is also very key and as parents we cannot afford not to be observant. We must be alert, always keeping our eye on these little ones.

Do you know that…

*When swallowed, objects will pass through the body without causing harm or get stuck or pierce the gut.

*If your child swallows dangerous objects like battery, poison, medicine, etc. see the doctor immediately

*If your child swallowed a small, smooth object that is unlikely to be poisonous such as a button or small marble, you may want to wait and see if he will pass it out in his poo. However go the hospital if you have any concerns or if he does not pass it out after several days

*If you suspect your child swallowed something or you don’t know what he swallowed, watch out for these signs which will indicate he needs immediate medical attention-

  • Difficulty breathing, crying or talking
  • Coughing that does not clear airways
  • Trouble swallowing’
  • Drooling
  • Loss of consciousness

*Also, here are signs that the object may stuck

  • Tummy or chest pain
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Unwilling or unable to swallow
  • Becoming unwell

*In case of a stuck object, don’t give the child anything to eat or drink and don’t try to make the child vomit the object. Instead visit the hospital immediately.

What weird thing has your child swallowed before? What did you do? Do share!!!

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