How would you react if your toddler swallowed a penny ?
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User - posted on 04/19/2012
For anyone googling this in the future...there is some horrible recommendations here. A penny, depending on the date of production (post 1982 I believe it is, they changed what pennies were made of)...which clearly there is typically no way of knowing once its been ingested...can be made of materials that start to corrode right away when mixed with gastric fluids, unlike other coins. They literally will start to eat away at their insides. Please, take them in RIGHT away and demand an xray and that they remain and be closely monitored. When our daughter swallowed one we had an incompetent er physician send us home...only to go back with a furious pediatrician who said they should have not discharged her...they called in a gastroenterologist who completely agreed and by the time they removed it not 23 hours later she had esophageal erosions and two small ulcers already. You should have seen how corroded the penny was already was not even in a day. You do NOT mess around with pennies, batteries, etc. It is no longer the old way of assuming they will just pass, they can cause serious damage while in there.
Amber - posted on 10/19/2013
It is always better to be safe than sorry. My daughter accidentally swallowed a penny when she was 2. She found one between the couch cushions. She choked on it for a second and then seemed fine. I just had a bad feeling about it so I decided to trust my instinct and started packing her up to go to the emergency room. Within 20 min she had started drooling profusely, gagging and heaving. The x ray at the hospital showed that the penny had actually got stuck in her esophagus and turned flat, essentially acting like a plug. She couldn't even swallow her own saliva, she just kept chocking on it and gagging. At the hospital, she started heaving violently because her body was trying to dislodge the penny. She kept choking and aspirating (inhaling her saliva in to her lungs)
She had to be rushed in for emergency surgery and intubated in order for the doctors to reach the penny and remove it. This was followed by a 3 day hospital stay for recovery. It was a horrible experience for both of us but the doctors praised me for trusting my instinct and bringing her down right away. If she was at home when she started aspirating she could have been MUCH worse off, or even chocked to deat, especially if she had gone to bed with the penny still lodged in her esophagus the way that it was.
The doctor told me that most parents think its okay to assume a child will pass a small swallowed object and to just monitor their bowel movents. This can bea regretful decision.
There is NEVER a bad or iinappropriate time to have your child examined by a doctor. If you are not sure, always err on the side of caution. The worst case scenario is that your child gets a good once over and a clean bill of health from the doc!
The er doctor told me that you should never assume an object can be passed through. It should ALWAYS be assessed by a professional first! The Dr can tell you by a simple xray if its in a safe position and will be able to move through or if your child needs further treatment. Please, if you are ever in this situation, Have your child checked out!
Laura - posted on 04/09/2010
my nephew swallowed a penny while in my care and was choking i managed to dislodge it quickly but took him to a and e because he kept balking.He had an xray and it was lodged in his throat and needed to go under anesthetic to have it removed.i would always get something like that checked because it could shift at any time and be fatal especially if asleep.scariest moment of my life i thought i wouldnt get him to take a breath again!
Alicia - posted on 04/06/2010
my son swallowed a penny and we took him to the er and they did x-rays and seen where it was at we had to keep checking his poop to see if he pooped it out..yes sounds nasty but if it doesnt' pass they will have to do surgrey cause it could get stuck..we had to take him back to the er every other day to see if it was moving and in about a week he passed it...
Stephanie - posted on 01/23/2014
My son got a penny stuck in his throat. I didn't know. He was breathing funny for a few days and wouldn't eat much and just wanted drinks. I took him to hospital and it was a simple but scary surgery, if you can call it that since he wasn't sliced. But now I just watch his every move. My older son never did stuff like him
Kim - posted on 04/08/2010
I wanted to share, I do have insurance so I did take Tanner for an xray, a day later and it was pooped out.
Thanks everyone, Louise Gough comment was right on point with my peditricians reaction. If you don't have to worry and can afford the visit to the dr, no reason to waste time just go get the xray to see where the penny is this is the only way to know your next step.
Carla - posted on 04/08/2010
If you have to sit here and ask that question I am sorry to say but there is something wrong. I would immediately take the baby to the doctor because if it goes down the wrong way then he/she can choke! If it lands in the wrong spot in the stomach it can definitely cause organ damage, and last but certainly not least, Pennies are dirty and they carry lots of germs. He\she can get a virus get copper poisoning and many other things. Objects that can be dangerous to swallow
* Small coin-shaped batteries can cause harm if they do not pass through the body quickly, as the chemicals inside can leak out and burn the surrounding tissue, or they can cause a small electric current which can also do harm.
* Objects that are small enough to swallow, but larger than about 18mm across may get stuck on the way down in small children.
o All Australian coins, including the 5 cent and 2 dollar coins are larger than 18 mm, so they may cause problems.
* Objects that are pointed (eg. open safety pins, toothpicks, stiff wire, fish and chicken bones) can pierce the gut, so if you think your child has swallowed one the child needs to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.
Brandi - posted on 04/06/2010
It never hurts to give the dr. a call. But basically, if the child is breathing ok (not wheezing or gasping for air) and he's not in any pain (esp. in the throat or chest) a penny will often pass on it's own. I once swallowed a nail (yeah I said a Nail) and it just passed on it's own. It went down head first not point, so the dr. thought i shouldn't be in any danger. With a penny, though, you shouldn't even have to check his stool to be sure it passed, it will :-) Kids will swallow the darndest things won't they?
Louise - posted on 04/06/2010
If your toddler is breathing normally there is no cause for alarm. Unfortunately this is a trip to the hospital as he/she will need an x-ray to see where the coin has gone. If it has passed into the intestines this means examining poop for the next week. If it has gone into the lung cavity it will have to be surgically removed. Most coins pass through the body with no affect what so ever but it's worth getting them checked.
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