Child’s Foreign Body Ingestion Symptoms and Interventions

Young children tend to recognize objects with their mouths and put things in their mouths out of curiosity. In addition, since their teeth are not yet developed or few, they tend to swallow the substances in their mouths mostly. However, these objects can cause serious health problems if swallowed. That’s why you should know what symptoms your child will show if he swallows a foreign object and how you should intervene!

You can find the details on the subject in our article.

What are the symptoms of a child swallowing a foreign body?

First of all, let’s say that there are 2 ways that a foreign body can go when swallowed; esophagus and trachea. If the object goes from the esophagus to the stomach, it may not pose a serious threat. These objects can be excreted through feces and are easy to intervene. However, if the object gets into the windpipe, serious problems can occur.

Difficulty in breathing is one of the symptoms of foreign body ingestion. There may also be bruising on the skin, coughing and chest pain with difficulty in breathing. Apart from these;

  • weight loss,
  • Sore throat,
  • excessive salivation,
  • vomiting ,
  • irrational fire ,
  • Conditions such as loss of consciousness may occur. Such symptoms can be confused with other diseases. Therefore, if you are wondering how to understand that the child has swallowed a foreign body, you should evaluate the whole body and the findings, and when you see a few of the above-mentioned symptoms together, you should suspect that he has swallowed a foreign body.

What are the foreign objects that are in danger of swallowing by the child?

In cases of foreign body ingestion, the most;

  • metal coin,
  • small piece toys,
  • Nuts,
  • toy batteries,
  • Magnet,
  • necklace-earring,
  • Bead ornaments on clothes or articles,
  • Materials such as buttons are encountered. That’s why you need to keep such substances away from your child.

How to intervene in a child swallowing a foreign body?

If it is detected or seen that the child has swallowed a foreign object, conditions such as difficulty in breathing, bruising, and the object can be seen when the child opens his mouth, the object can be removed with the help of fingers. However, if the object has gone too far to be seen, the child can be helped to remove the object by holding him upside down (dancing his feet) and hitting him on the back. If breathing has not improved after this stage, first aid breathing can be done through the mouth. As you can see, it is very important to know first aid techniques in order to successfully overcome such situations.

The life risk of the child can be avoided with the above-mentioned procedures, but there is a risk that some substances may cause some problems in the body. Objects such as batteries, magnets, needles can cause damage to the esophagus, stomach or intestines. They can cause serious problems such as poisoning or perforation. For this reason, the location of these objects should be determined in consultation with a doctor and they should be removed with small operations performed under anesthesia.

In some cases, these foreign bodies can escape into the lungs. In such cases, cough, fever, pneumonia can be seen. This condition can be easily detected on chest X-ray and can be treated with bronchoscopy.

What should be done to prevent the child from swallowing a foreign body?

  • Toys that are suitable for their age and that do not contain small parts should be chosen.
  • The toys have batteries, magnets, etc. materials should not be exposed.
  • Tools such as pencils, sharpeners and erasers should not be within reach of children.
  • The child must be under parental control when consuming grain foods.
  • If the moment of swallowing is observed, the mouth should be checked without panic.
  • Instead of restricting the child’s movements, he should keep dangerous objects away from him.
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